Henrique Oliveira

In the form of paintings, sculptures or installations, the hybrid art of Henrique Oliveira (b. 1973, lives and works in São Paulo) evokes both the urban and the vegetable, the organic and the structural, as well as art and science, through compositions in which the unexpected generates a universe tinted with the fantastic. Graduating from the University of São Paulo in 1997, the artist explores fluidity, the combination and color of materials, which endows his installations with a certain pictorial quality. Oliveira often borrows materials from the Brazilian urban landscape, notably tapumes, wood taken from fences surrounding and blocking access to construction sites. By using these materials, Oliveira highlights the endemic and parasitic nature of these constructions; evoking wooden tumors, his installations function as a metaphor for the favelas’ organic growth, thus revealing the dynamic decay of São Paulo’s urban fabric. In the artistic lineage of Lydia Clark or Hélio Oiticica, he uses the very context of this sprawling city as a raw material. The way in which it is treated, as well as its unexpected apparition, destabilizes the visitor’s perception of space.