Q&As with Chris Rivers

What’s your background?

I’m a self-taught artist from Manchester.  I began painting about 3 years ago during my time as drummer for UK rock band, Heavens Basement, which I was a part of for 10 years.  My time in the music industry took me all over the world, playing alongside bands such as Aerosmith, Bon Jovi and Metallica. In November 2016 I decided to leave the music industry behind me to focus on my art career which I’ve become totally obsessed with!

Explain what you do in 100 words

I like to paint artworks that tell a story. A lot of my work has an element of reference to personal experiences, I’ll then twist it, turn it upside down and try and create a piece of artwork.  Most of my work has a big element of surrealism to it; I’m always looking to find a twist on normality. 

I love the process of trial and error with my work, the feeling that it could fall apart at any point.  Being self-taught a lot of things are guesswork but for me it’s about painting with energy and trying to put across my idea.

What five words best describe your work?

Surreal, dark with a twist of innocence, weird, loose.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a long term series called Savages of Eden which is a seasonal based set of paintings representing a brutal struggle between two sides in a very subtle way.  I’m planning my next series of paintings as well which will be called ‘Hero’s’ and ‘Land of the Giants’,   I’m also working on a 25ft x 13ft mural and I’ve recently started printing my work on silk scarves.

Which three artists most inspire you?

Bosch, Dali, Monet

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Make mistakes, embrace them, avoid perfection (from my drumming career, but it works the same in art).

Favourite or most inspirational place in Yorkshire

Whitby

Tell us something we don’t know

Aside from my main artwork, I also have my own children’s book called Zak and Jen’s Astronomical Adventures.  I’m the co-creator for it and it’s very much in a similar theme to my main artwork, just in a childish way.

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