Mike Rivamonte's Robots
By James Grahame
Allow me to introduce Benton. He's the brainchild of designer Mike Rivamonte. Unfortunately, Benton simply stands around looking distinguished -- he's a poseur, not a combat-hardened battlebot.
Rivamonte's obsession with technology started as a boy. He explains, "My work is greatly influenced by my family. As kids, my mom would take us to countless antique stores, curio shops and flea markets. During these 'field trips,' I marveled over dusty scientific instruments, phonographs and other obscure mechanical devices. I developed a deep appreciation and interest of inventions and history. I picked up the love of making things from my father and uncles. My dad built our first color television set, all kinds of radios and our first computer. He could and would build anything. We constructed many things together. My uncles, one a science teacher the other a carpenter, fueled my inquisitive, experimental nature and appreciation for the finer points of craftsmanship.
These sculptures reflect the imagination and influences of my childhood. They are my interpretation of robots and spacemen capable of flight and mischief. Rare and collectible objects from all over are transformed to create expressive unique characters. Each piece is constructed so that they appear as natural and lifelike as possible. I invite the viewer to enjoy their individual personalities and have as much fun observing the pieces as I do creating them."
Benton and his companions are created from all manner of vintage objects, ranging from old trolley fare boxes to vintage movie cameras and tube radios. You can rest assured that if I were Supreme Ruler of the world, I would squander billions to bring an army of benevolent Bentons to life... hunger and world peace be damned.