Brian Viveros is an internationally renown artist, who knows how to work a theme. His influences are as clear cut as the rich oil colours he uses in his work. Often portraying women as hardy battle worn warriors with resilience and sadness.
The main influence which attracted me to his work was the Tank Girl replicas. Copying the shape and style of Jamie Hewlitt, who also created with Damon Albarn the worlds first virtual band, Gorillaz.
The feminine toughness of Tank Girl became cult, as she became a figure of strength and sexiness for punk. As a force to be reckoned with, Viveros mirror imaged Hewlitts cartoon design of Tank Girl and made the hyperreal girl complete with fag hanging out of the mouth.
Other influences include Frida Kahlo, Mini-Mouse, toreros (bull fighters), death and war.
Women are pretty much exclusively his subjects, including that of his short films, which give him a darker and avant garde dimension to his work. Visceral images interlinked with scenes of captivity all to a slightly unnerving looped soundtrack, set the standard for Viveros` boundary pushing delve into performance art and film.
Even his films do not shy away from making a homage to artists before him. Like with the hat-tip to Hewlitt, he does the same again in this film but to the [then] controversial Spanish artist Francisco Goya.
Nearly 200 years later the Tauromaquia is repeated. Named the same as Goya’s series of bullfight etchings, Viveros makes the women both the bull and the fighter.