Rafael Rivera García, Painter of Hyde Square Mural, Dies in Puerto Rico

Rafael Rivera García (1929-2014)

Courtesy of Boricua Rivera

Rafael Rivera García (1929-2014)

An artist whose Hyde Square mural became a landmark has died at 85.

Rafael “Sonny” Rivera García, died Friday in Puerto Rico, according to his son, Boricua Rivera. In 1984, the elder Rivera painted a mural on Perkins Street that honors the Taino culture of what is today Puerto Rico.

The mural has since been restored twice and come to be a symbol of Jamaica Plain in general and Hyde-Jackson squares in particular.

Sonny Rivera’s murals have adorned public spaces in Miami; San Juan and Guanica, Puerto Rico; and New York City. He was an art professor and author of a manifesto called “Art for the People.”

Here’s a recent view of the Taino mural on Perkins Street, behind Whole Foods:

And here are two images provided by Boricua Rivera of his father:

Rafael Rivera García (1929-2014)

Courtesy of Boricua Rivera

Rafael Rivera García (1929-2014)

Rafael Rivera García (1929-2014)

Courtesy Boricua Rivera

Rafael Rivera García (1929-2014)