Lissa Rivera is a photographer and curator based in Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY. Rivera received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, where she became fascinated with the social history of photography and the evolution of identity, sexuality and gender in relation to material culture. Beautiful Boy, Rivera’s latest project, takes her interest in photography’s connection with identity to a personal level, focusing on her domestic partner as muse.
Selected press includes The New York Times,Artforum, The Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar, PAPER,The Boston Globe, and Photograph Magazine among many others. Rivera was chosen as a “Woman to Watch” for the biennial exhibition at the National Museum of Woman in Arts. Selected honors include the Griffin Museum’s Peter Urban Legacy Award; Feature Shoot’s Emerging Photography Award; Photographic Resource Center’s Exposure 2016; D&AD’s Next Photographer Shortlist; and the Magnum Photography Award for Portraiture. Public collections include Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Newport Art Museum; Danforth Museum of Art; Davis Museum at Wellesley College; and The Art Museum of Dickinson College.
Since 2016, Rivera has curated and produced nine exhibitions, with a focus on modern and contemporary art. Rivera strives to include traditionally underrepresented voices regardless of formal education or exhibition history. Rivera's exhibition, Leonor Fini: Theatre of Desire 1930-1990, was the first US Museum survey dedicated to Fini. Rivera served as curator for James Bidgood: Reveries; Mariette Pathy Allen: Rites of Passage, 1978-2006; Canon: Juan Jose Barboza-Gubo & Andrew Mroczek; Night Fever: New York Disco 1977–1979,The Bill Bernstein Photographs; co-curator of Punk Lust: Raw Provocation 1971-1985; and NSFW: Female Gaze; and producer of Known/Unknown: Private Obsession and Hidden Desire in Outsider Art. In 2018, Rivera was invited to be guest juror for the Field Projects gallery open call.