Neil Rivas (Clavo) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work intersects with his roles as documentarian, educator, and activist. Using his own photography, found objects, and appropriated pop culture iconography, he is invested in aesthetic politics and creating tactical interventions within social, cultural, and political contexts. His projects have come in the form of billboards, life size cardboard cut-outs, performances, and multimedia installations. He also makes work that has dual-use: having a presence within both art and non-art spaces, often functioning as legal evidence or archive.
Rivas received his BFA in Art Photography from California State University, Long Beach, and is currently an MFA candidate at California College of the Arts. He has worked internationally as an artist, photojournalist, educator, and community organizer. His work has been exhibited in the U.S., Guatemala, El Salvador, and Japan. He has been the recipient of a REGEN Artist Fund Award, an IMPACT Social Entrepreneurship Award, and a Los Angeles Municipal Gallery Associates Award. In 2009, he participated in the MORFO International Artist Residency Program (Guatemala), and Residencias artísticas con Luis Camnitzer through the Spanish Cooperation (AECID) in Antigua, Guatemala. His work has also been featured in the Huffington Post, NBC Latino, CNN Español, ArtInfo, ArtsHub (Australia), MTV tr3s, Univision, Colorlines Magazine, and other media outlets. His documentary photography has been published through The Guardian (UK), NPR, PressTV, The Keith Olberman Show, and The New York Times blog.