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Maurizio Gaetano Rivera- 2011

Maurizio’s current exhibits include The Crocker Art Museum, The California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art (CCACA) and the downtown Sacramento Second Saturday exhibits.  Recently Maurizio was invited to several events at the Crocker Art Museum to demonstrate his skills in clay sculpture, figure drawing and received the Kingsley Art Club Award.

Growing up in Italy and living close to the Verona Arena, I had a fascination for Gladiators and Gladiatorial games. At first I was drawn to the beautiful, sinister, bronze body armor.  Then as I got older I read a great amount of documentation about the lives of the Gladiators and discovered the great sacrifices these combatants made, all in the name of entertainment.  After 20 years of automotive restoration and building custom show cars, I wanted to do something more with my art and decided to take a sculpting class with Professor Yoshio Taylor in the fall of 2008.  While a discussion with him about the difficulties of the medium, I remember Yoshio telling me “clay will humble you”, that conversation changed my life forever.  At times, I feel like I am being thrown into the arena as an artist, and is one of the reasons that I feel a connection with these Gladiators and Knights that I sculpt.  It is a privilege and an honor to be able to create and share the history of these men and women that fought in the arena and throughout Europe.

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