Painting with wood is how Henrique Oliveira describes his tree sculptures. Little wonder his sculptures are a delight to watch. Some of his works erupt from the floor, doorways, and furniture, while others appear from cracked or broken walls and ceilings in the form of enormous wooden limbs and vines.
Oliveira, who hails from Brazil and currently resides and works in London, UK, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, graduated in Fine Arts, Bachelor in painting, from the School of Communication and Arts at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, and went on to do his Masters in Visual Poetics from the same school. He started his art career with abstract painting till he discovered wood as a medium.
While growing up in a small town in the country, Oliveira was always close to nature and got the opportunity to observe it at close quarters. His interest in wood grew when he saw broken fences, made out of cheap Brazilian plywood called tapume, fall to pieces, due to age and weather. It was in these fallen pieces of wood that he saw shapes that appeared like brush strokes. This gave him the idea of painting sculptures with wood.
Once he moved to the city with his mother, he started relating the urban jungle to the pristine countryside. This is reflected in many of his works, such as ‘Baitogogo’, displayed at the Palais de Tokyo in Japan. It shows the branches of a tree interconnected with the pillars of a concrete building.
Monumental Installations by Henrique Oliveira
The main components of Oliveira’s sculptures include found and recycled materials that are sourced from old sofas, mattresses, and others. He also uses PVC, cardboards, wire mesh, and concrete in his works. It is his imagination and artistic skills that turn this waste into natural-looking objects that provoke the viewers into thinking about the effects of our consumerist society on the environment.
Oliveira is a recipient of many honors and awards. He has many solo and group exhibitions to his credit. His works are also displayed on social media platforms and many art websites.
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