About

Cesare Oliva “The Painter”

Cesare Oliva is an artist, born in 1953, in Italy. When he was two years old, his family moved to Caracas, Venezuela. His imagery has developed in this constant traveling between the two continents: South America, Europe, Rome and Naples.

Later on, he lived and worked for many years in Canada, both in Montreal and Toronto with frequent contacts with New York and the Soho scene.

During the 70s he experienced the last echoes of the influence of the golden days of via Margutta in Rome. He there met the art dealer Toni Porcella of Ca D'oro art gallery who organized him a solo exhibition. He also met the artist Giorgio De Chirico and the painter Mayo Antoine Malliarakis.

In that same period in New York, at the hotel Saint-Regis, he meets Salvador Dali. In the late 70’s he wins two first prizes in painting.

Oliva is a descendant of the original surrealism, which is not the postmodern mannerism that quotes original aesthetics that have lost their initial linguistic meaning.

He believes surrealism is a way of living and perceiving life and not a particular aesthetic system of connoted forms.

He also believes that surrealism, pittura metafisica, magic realism are three names for the same perception that exist since the night of times, in the magical spiritual perceptions, animistic and shamanic cultures, going through mythology, continuing with masters like Bosch, Bruegel, Giuseppe Arcimboldo without mentioning many of the symbolists of the 19th-century.

Surrealism is therefore something older and it can be traced back to very ancient art.

The term Surrealism was first used by Apollinaire concerning the ballet Parade, scenario by Jean Cocteau with costumes and sets designed by Pablo Picasso.

Surrealism took inspiration from the poet Arthur Rimbaud. His poetry influenced the Symbolists, the Dadaists and the Surrealists. Therefore, surrealism cannot be inboxed in a movement launched by André Breton or constricted as a mere development of Dadaism.

"There are many misunderstandings about surrealism. Art historians have included it among artistic avant garde directions of the first half of the20th century. From their point of view surrealism has therefore been dead for at least 60 years. The term surrealism has entered the general vocabulary as description of something nonensical, absurd. First of all, it is important to say that surrealism is not art. There is no surrealist painting or surrealist film. We can talk about surrealism in art, in painting, or in film. This is because there is no surrealist aesthetics, no surrealist method or school". Jan Švankmaje

Oliva brings the concept of surrealism to a broader sense than that of to the original oniric and subconscious automatism, to a more integral and large understanding of all alter-realities, less empiric, more specific or sensible, more speculative and perceptive, based on sensations.

His view on surrealism includes all the alter-realities, like the para realities and the meta realities, going beyond the contingent elements of sensible experience.

He also worked with two of his own theories called the hypercubic analysis in the 70’s, and the reflectionist movement that he founded in the 80's which has had an immediate impact and influence on many artist and intellectuals that in one way or the other have been in contact with these researches.

By a constant research and acquisition of esthetical languages of the immediate surroundings he has also experimented with a few postmodern artistic tendencies creating a large and consistent production in each one of them.

He has exhibited in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Rome, Caracas, Florence, London, Lisbon and other locations. Since 1996 the artist lives in Florence, Italy.