One of the coolest things about the Bakehouse Art Complex, a former industrial bakery in Wynwood where we are throwing a Sketchy Party Friday night (RSVP on Facebook), is that each of its studios is a self-contained universe. Step into studio 37, for example, and you will encounter walls hung thick with fabric, embroidery-layered photographs, and, on your left, fiber artist Carrie Sieh sitting at her desk behind a decades-old loom. A few doors down, in studio 34, Deborah Mitchell, a mixed-media artist whose work practically smells of the Florida swamps, smiles in front of a wall of pieces layered with newspaper print, plant matter, and dry animal bones. (Both Sieh and Mitchell have original work in the raffle we will be holding Friday night. Learn more about it and pre-order tickets HERE.)
Then there’s studio 43, the workplace of artist Mike Rivamonte. Rivamonte is a sculptor, but there are no dunes of marble dust in his studio. Instead, the small space is crowded with robots constructed of antiques, everything from Zenith radios and trolley-car fare boxes to Word War II binoculars and drive-in speakers from as far back as the ’40s and as far away as Australia.
“Robots” is not a totally accurate description though. For one thing, Rivamonte’s sculptures do not carry out complex tasks (although, as you will see in the video above, one of them does do a spot-on Artie Shaw impression.) And they are not robotic in personality. In fact, all of his two-legged creations have definable character traits, be it mischievousness, sweetness, or surliness — not bad for creatures with microphones and cameras for faces.
Rivamonte is one of the many artists who will be at the Bakehouse Friday night to sketch portraits. Along with giving us three illustrations to raffle off at the party, he also welcomed us into his studio to talk about antique-hunting and how he makes new art out of old stuff. Enjoy.
You can learn more about Sketchy Party #2 on Facebook. If you want to see more of the work in the raffle, check out the following links: