Erik Olson’s painting practice offers a fragmented combination of objective, observation-based representations and abstract or conceptual image generation.
Olson’s work is conceived within the framework of sculptural busts and traditional head-and-shoulders portraits, but each work extrapolates into dramatically different directions, highlighting the very malleability of subjectivity and invoking the presence of existential human crises. Olson’s color is both specific and vague; likewise, his brushstrokes both define observations and fall off into process-based mark-making.
Olson depicts friends and colleagues, people he encounters (briefly) while traveling through the world, and ideas of contemporary archetypes, allowing paintings, sculptures, and characters to converse with each other through installation. Olson’s work oscillates between portraying individual subjects in an analytic sense and a more intuitive approach that reaches beyond knowledge.
Erik Olson has lived a nomadic life, having been raised in Calgary, Boston, and Nairobi as a child. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver in 2007. In 2014 and 2015, he attended the critically acclaimed Kunstakademie Düsseldorf as a guest student of Peter Doig. Olson has been the subject of solo exhibitions in major cities across Canada and internationally in Europe and the United States. Olson’s work has been featured in Juxtapoz, ELLE Canada, The London Free Press, London Yodeller, and The Telegraph, among others.
Learn more about Erik Olson’s work here.
Images and biography care of Luis De Jesus Los Angeles