Brian M. Viveros
Internationally Celebrated Artist & Film Maker
DirtyLand Warriors are women of power as seen inside the mind of artist, Viveros. These victors embody female beauty and strength. Having a Hispanic upbringing and sharing his birthday with the Dia De Los Meurtos holiday explains why he finds so much inspiration in Lucha Libre and bullfighting for his characters. He takes his organic inspirations and re-imagines the female figure wearing all of these things. He can continue to be a crazy, but in a good way, work-a-holic because who doesn’t love seeing a beautiful, empowered woman mixed in with sugar skulls and wresting?
I think I’m pretty crazy but in a good way, I hear voices sometimes HA! Just kidding…no I’m not. I feel like I’m a constant full time creative, mind and soul, I push that mindset into everything I do. Those that know me, know I’m a very driven and obsessive person when it comes to work and projects – I’m always thinking of new ideas and how I can get them out. I’m a bit of a workaholic, I enjoy my Arturo Fuente cigars and fine tequilas. I like surreal, obscure films from the past. I’m big on music, strange sounds and I love my dogs. What else? I don’t sleep much, and when I work I need both music and a film playing at the same time, along with my ceiling fan on because I like the sound that the motor makes. I enjoy museums, shooting the shit with my good friends, and chocolate cake.
Describe your work.
I would title it WOMEN OF POWER! Female beauty and strength are the defining characteristics of my DirtyLand Warriors. The women I paint are enticing because they’re victors – they fight with no holds barred, they’re the ones who’ve been through it all standing tall. It’s the blood, the beauty within the beast, the ruthless strength of their dominance that is undeniably scintillating. They draw you into their world with a sultry stare, but it’s you who tells their story.
How did you get started?
I guess going way back, as child, I loved to draw and would stage my toys to practice illustrating them. I had a vivid imagination and created my own comics as a kid, after high school I started publishing my own underground comics. I also had a penchant for film and would put on live weird theater acts and made home splatter movies in my teens – I was an early initiate to the worlds of splatter films and B-level gore. In the late 90’s when I started to push my fine art, I used to make these packages of my work and mail them out everywhere. A breakthrough for me was when, out of the blue, I sent one of these packages to H.R. Giger’s agent Les Barany who called me and responded! This led to my first real exhibition. I was invited to be part of a group show with H.R. Giger and many of my favorite artists. This group show opened my eyes, and opened doors to further opportunities. This made the pursuit of a fine art career seem like something feasible and within reach.
At that time though it was still a struggle for me – I was trying to find my true identity and voice as an artist. I kept asking myself what would make something a signature Viveros? What was “me”? My early works in 1997 were not even paintings, the Dirtyland world you know now wasn’t fully formed. I was just using ink, charcoal and airbrush as media – the content was more like twisted surreal erotica, a little more hardcore and underground. The characters were still smoking but it wasn’t really me yet, I was young and still searching. It wasn’t until 2006 when I painted my first Dirtyland painting that I found my true direction. I started painting the things I really knew and loved like the helmets, boxing, Lucha Libre Wrestling, bullfighting, and bullets – I re-imagined the female figure wearing all of these elements, and everything just started to unfold, the Dirtyland universe was born.
What piece of work best represents you and why?
I’d have to say it would be an older piece, one of my most iconic paintings, my first Viva La Muerte from 2008 – the pose, the rose and the skull helmet are very signature to my style. Her pose is simple and powerful, one I’d always drawn before, but in this particular painting it feels more surreal. It’s a throwback to my older works, maybe that’s why I’m so down for it. It also represents my Hispanic culture and upbringing. The Day of the Dead, Dia De Los Muertos, is also the day I was born. There’s just something about this painting that feels right and represents who I am.
What are you into currently?
Right now I’m currently into patterns and working with charcoal in different ways, also getting back into film. I’m hoping I can start production with a new short film this year. Keep ya posted on that!
What are three things you’ve learned that young creatives should know?
I always say you you must stay focused and if you push yourself really hard, eventually things will unfold and start to happen. Try not to worry so much about what’s going on in the outside world. Create your own world, pursue it unrelentingly, and most importantly, believe in it.
Describe your create process – from how you select the imagery your final work.
The inspiration just comes, it’s pretty organic. I think about my headgear collection, helmets that I find visually interesting, and I start visualizing a new character based on these external props. Sometimes it’s more topical, like if a big fight is coming up, I may want to do a new boxer. I love going to old flea markets, there’s a lot of inspiration and energy there. Other times, it’s just seeing something strange, or even hearing a few words – something someone says can trigger an idea, or a song, a rhythm, or a beat can push me in a certain direction. Even a specific scene from a film can lead to a new DirtyLand character, I try to find inspiration in everything. Sometimes I’ll write my ideas down or do a quick doodle. Then it’s all about getting the sketch right, perfecting the pose, then taking the sketch to a very tight pencil which I transfer onto maple board which is what I use for my final paintings. After the pencil is on the board, it’s all about laying in the oils and finalizing the details with airbrush.