Born in 1983, Chris Rivers is a self taught artist from Manchester, England. A former professional rock drummer, Rivers began painting in 2014. His large and dramatic oil paintings are bold, abstract displays of charged colour and fine, surrealistic detail.

Not everything is as it first seems in these worlds. Soft light filters through overlaying mists of complimentary tones, gradually swelling with dramatic saturated colour before receding into the image. Upon closer inspection, these clouds are populated by minute details; flowers, insects, figures and other characters scatter and interact across the painted surface, offering a sense of scale to the great haze of abstract colour. Distinct rococo elements can also be detected, as curvilinear motifs fade in and out of the vibrant, bustling compositions.

“It’s about the things you don’t notice at first,” states Rivers, “a contrast between innocence and something darker.” In this way, layers of narrative, emotion and atmosphere surge against each other. Conflicting yet complimentary, the image is built upon this ensemble of disparate and harmonious elements. These paintings are accomplished explorations of such contrasts, where subtle details are framed against turbulent backgrounds, light against dark, building dense and complex narratives.


LONDON, UK — Arts and culture journalist Felicity Carter speaks with Chris Rivers about his studio practice and artistic career British artist, Chris Rivers has a very rock ‘n’ roll take on the traditional flower painting (and he depicts much more than that). After all, he was in a rock band and thought that was a done deal for the rest of his days. It wasn’t until he was on a tour of the U.S. when he realized the art world was for him; he was sketching his drumsticks and immediately became hooked. Not long after this, he found himself leaving the music business and becoming a fully-fledged artist.

His style? Well, undoubtedly there’s a calming quality to his pieces. Through the serene beauty, the self-taught artist is all about trail and error. He offers a journey of discovery, encouraging the viewer to engage with his artwork and let their imagination run free through his abstract depictions.