New York Street Artist
Dimensions H 1.5m W 1.2m
Bids start at £300, please send offers to [email protected]
Artist Nelson Rivas, was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1976. Better known by his street name, Cekis, he began painting and creating graffiti on the streets in the early 1990s gaining notoriety for his vibrant murals. A young person in a nation emerging from a seventeen-year authoritarian military regime, Cekis considers himself part of the first generation of South American graffiti writers.
As part of the emerging artistic renaissance that followed, painting in public would continue to direct the trajectory of his career. In 2004, he left for Brooklyn, NYC and while there, several themes, including one surrounding the idea of “fences”, began to emerge through his work.
With some relevance to his newfound immigrant status, “fences” also largely paid homage to his identity as a graffiti writer; an identity where trespassing past and climbing over fences was all just par for the course. Both his studio and larger-scale works explore the tensions between man-made and natural laws, shining a light on both his Latin American and graffiti roots while reflecting the interconnectedness of the human experience.
Named by Complex Magazine as one of the 50 most influential street artists of all time, he has exhibited in galleries worldwide, while staying true to his first love, public mural projects. He has played a vital role in developing Chile’s street art scene, and his work continues to inspire young artists in Chile and around the world.
Beyond showing work worldwide, he also recently created a mural at Journal Square Station in Jersey City, NJ and has worked with Miami’s Museum of Graffiti on several projects. In 2022 he was featured in the street art documentary “Chile Style” by Pablo Aravena and also received a grant from Downtown Brooklyn to paint 32 asphalt sites, for a project titled “Street Patterns.”
For Cekis, the core driving force is still creating public art. Not only does he consider it what defines him as an artist but among the most important work he’s done to date. And he’s not alone. His influence on the street art scene, both at home and globally, is undeniable.