URBAN NATION X Roberto Rivadeneira: New façade design on Bülowstraße 101 abstracts time and space.

Born in Ecuador, visual artist Roberto Rivadeneira is known for his colourful and large-scale murals, which he paints all over the world. As part of the URBAN NATION Museum’s ONE WALL programme and at the invitation of director Jan Sauerwald, he has now redesigned the façade of Bülowstraße 101 in Berlin-Schöneberg.

For the Berlin-based artist, the universe exists as a random and chaotic place in which many events overlap at the same time. For him, 2020 is the year in which everyone has to take a step back and observe almost helplessly what is happening to them, their fellow human beings and the environment. How do people deal with extraordinary situations? The search for holistic responses becomes a crucial test. Rivadeneira wants to give a pragmatic answer with the title of his mural: “Because the moment simply is”.

His colourful imagery of abstract shapes, reflections and overlapping surfaces represents a metaphor for our future and past. They intertwine and are still individually recognisable. Rivadeneira always examines the relationships between abstraction and the everyday elements of our lives, reinterpreting them using graphic formations. More often than not, these can give an organic touch, as they are evocative of elements from flora and fauna. References to cubism are also clearly recognisable. But by playing with static two-dimensionality and ornamental abstraction, Rivadeneira’s painting also alludes to the Art Nouveau period, in which artistic wall and ceiling design also played a decisive role.

“In this mural, I decided to represent time in different sized shapes, all of which are related, moving, changing and present on the whole building at the same time. By doing so, I want to play with the viewer’s perception and with the idea that everything is connected”, says the artist.

The new façade design also provides a contrast to the previous dark paste-up work by Corsican artist Julien de Casabianca. Under the direction of Jan Sauerwald, works of art commissioned by URBAN NATION are given a new direction. In the tradition of post-graffiti and classic murals, the curatorial focus is increasingly on ornament and shape.

“Another stylistically abstract and colourful work by a Berlin-based artist and muralist will emerge this year with the large-scale façade design by the artist Roberto Rivadeneira on the residential building at Bülowstraße 101. By inviting Rivadeneira, the URBAN NATION Museum’s ONE WALL programme shows a further facet of the variety of techniques and working methods that Berlin’s artistic scene has to offer. With his previous work, but also with the new work designed for URBAN NATION, the artist succeeds in capturing our urban spaces with colourfully charged visual worlds, without relativising the architecture and building structure on which he paints. His radiant, abstract and fantastic worlds of colour address urban themes, such as urban nature and architecture, and invite the viewer to observe their surroundings more closely.” Jan Sauerwald, Director of URBAN NATION Museum.

About Roberto Rivadeneira
Roberto Rivadeneira – Ecuador (1991) – is a muralist and visual artist who grew up in Quito, Ecuador and has lived and worked in Berlin since 2014. His works, which are predominantly studio works and murals, range from small canvases to larger wall formats. The artist is heavily influenced by painters from the early 1900s, contemporary culture and everyday observations in various cities and societies. Roberto’s work is not a message but rather an open invitation to the viewer to adapt and interact within the space and atmosphere.

With Rivadeneira’s ONE WALL, URBAN NATION has created a further work of art in the public space that is intended to be a commentary on developments in the local neighbourhood and hopes to inspire those who see it to think. The ONE WALL programme is curated by the director of the URBAN NATION museum, Jan Sauerwald.