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100 Creatives: Ronnie Rivera Animates the Weird and Wonderful in Miami

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In honor of our "People" issue, which will hit newsstands November 17, New Times proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes. Have suggestions for future profiles? Let us know in the comments.

#91: Ronnie Rivera

In 2010, when things on the internet were actually fun, Ronnie Rivera made it even more of a virtual party as one half of online arts collective Bleeding Palm. He took paparazzi-style photos at live events at a time when everyone woke up bright and early the next afternoon, drenched in alcohol sweat and cigarette stink, to see if someone had snapped a cool pic of them the night before and posted it on a website. Sometimes Bleeding Palm did get that shot; however, it not only snapped your "rad look," but it also cleverly and humorously animated it, turning you into a three-headed monster in the most mesmerizing, psychedelic GIF of all time. It was the best of Miami times, and it was truly the best of internet times.

From those DIY beginnings, Rivera, the self-taught filmmaker and multimedia graphic artist, made Miami’s digital world his mental playground. He created and co-created award-winning and unforgettably sensational animations. There was The Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse, a tripped-out visual extravaganza that really pissed off the Miami Heat player’s legal team, and The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. On the heels of those masterpieces, Rivera produced I’ve Never Not Been From Miami, ten short films for PBS about local artists that found its way to the big screen at the 2016 Miami International Film Festival.

This industrious and infinitely creative artist continues to make films and animate. He is not only elevating the perspectives of locals through his wild work, but he’s also bringing a truly unique visual presence to the universe with each and every sketch.

List five things that inspire you.
The art, branding, and graphics at Dadeland Station.

The animatronic guitar-playing parrots at Cutler Ridge Mall. I believe they were installed after the mall's Hurricane Andrew rebuild. (I may have imagined these.)

Yelp reviews of Cici's Pizza in Kendall. (Kendall is also something I may have imagined.)

Watching Blockbuster employee training videos on YouTube. (Blockbuster was an IRL YouTube, believed to be extinct.)

Standing on downtown rooftops, watching the sun fall into what I gather must be Doral. Doral may be made of sunsets. I can't say — I have not been there yet. 

What was your last big project?
I've spent most of 2016 so far writing. I just finished three screenplays. I'm excited to get started on production soon. 

What's your next big project?
Finding out whether or not Doral is made of sunsets.
What's one thing you want Miami to know about you? 
I have tried all of the shots at Shots Miami.

One thing you don't want Miami to know about you?
I don't get mangoes. Everyone freaks out about them. They're OK, I guess. 

What do you want people to know about Miami?
There are some humans and things in Miami that are not complete garbage, but in the end, it’s all just abandoned condos on the bottom of the Atlantic, rotting in Lord Poseidon's unforgiving embrace. May he come for us soon.

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