Bedford Avenue’s Honorary Artist Luis Rivera Dies

On a street that has undergone more cultural transformation than perhaps any street in Brooklyn’s recent history, the late Williamsburg-based artist Luis Rivera was not a well-known celebrity.

His work, however, was not easily ignored.

From polar bears guarding a tarp of his possessions to a brown bear in a large white dress shirt with french cuffs, sitting in front of a computer screen near an empty bottle of brandy, Rivera’s lighthearted installations tickled neighborhood residents and tourists alike.

One such fan, blogger Miss Heather, posted photos of Rivera’s works on her Web site (www.newyorksh—y.com) this week and noted his funeral, which happened February 1. She wrote that while she was not on a first name basis with the artist, they knew each other and that she often waded through the weekend crowds on Bedford Avenue in order to see his latest animal-related piece.

“Nobody knew his name but everyone knew him. His tableaux provided a much-needed break from the pretentiousness of Bedford Avenue and were joy to people young and old. He will be very, very missed,” said Miss Heather.

According to Miss Heather, her favorite piece was the bear surfing the Internet, though Rivera explained to her that he was looking for an online date.

“Frankly, I’d like to see that little stretch of North 1 Street named after him,” she said.

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