Henrique Oliveira‘s installations and sculptures are extraordinary, labyrinthine. Disruptions made out of wood, fluid organic forms built out of the most unlikely of materials, bark. His latest piece, ‘ursulinens prolapse’ is a wonderful example of his work as it uses both bark and foam to create a highly textured, almost living and breathing environment, one you can walk around and walk into. It’s looks like something out of a Star Wars set.
Oliveira’s exposure to his fathers woodwork studio has undoubtedly informed his art making as has his upbringing in São Paulo – a place that is, by all accounts, awash with thin pieces of wood that fall off, detach themselves, from the thousands of fences that criss cross the city. These are what Oliveira collects and uses in his artwork – perhaps a metaphor for the decaying city, the life and death cycle of nature? – whether it be building painted murals, making explosive sculptures that lift themselves out of the ground or creating otherworldly gargantuan installations.
He’s also a wonderful painter and someone who I’ll be coming back to.