Emma Riva



Emma Riva is an art writer, author, and curator. She grew up in the New York neighborhood of Washington Heights where her uncle’s time as a subway writer uptown in the ’70s piqued her interest in graffiti. From there, she became managing editor and lead features writer at UPan international street art and graffiti magazine.


She has written extensively on the “boys from the Heights” (Mike 171, SJK 171, JEC *, Henry 161, and Taki 183), documented the Pittsburgh graffiti subculture, and conducted thorough onsite interviews with Gary, Indiana based crew CISA. Graffiti began her career as an art writer, and since then she has gone on to cover contemporary art galleries, art fairs, museums, and trends in the art market across the country and the globe.


Emma is the founder of Petrichor, a web magazine about the art scene in the city of Pittsburgh. Her work appears in Belt Magazine, Newcity, Bunker Review, Rust Belt Girl, Bunker Review, Table Magazine, Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, Widewalls, and Whitehot Magazine. Additionally, she studied fiction at The New School and brings her imagination and love of storytelling to all of her projects. She lives on Pittsburgh’s South Side with her painting collection and her candles.


Photo by Grant Catton / Work by Grant Catton & Max Gonzales at Garfield Housing Benefit show curated by Emma Riva

Photo by Kimberly Leja Atwood / Graffiti by YAMS

Photo by Eleazar a.k.a Mr. Man / Graffiti by Snoeman