SIDERIT, bronze sculpture, 2021
Ondřej Oliva (1982) is a Czech sculptor working with aluminium and bronze. To create his contemporary sculptures, he draws the inspiration from the...
Ondřej Oliva (1982) is a Czech sculptor working with aluminium and bronze. To create his contemporary sculptures, he draws the inspiration from the things around him, his personal experiences and his travels: the artist reinterprets natural elements or commonplace objects using particularly the contrast between natural or organic forms and symmetrical or industrial elements.
Ondřej Oliva (1982) is a contemporary sculptor who lives and works in the Czech Republic. He began his apprenticeship in sculpture in the late 1990s and later studied with artist Jaroslav Róna at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, graduating in 2010. Art is no stranger to his family: his father, Otmar Oliva, is an internationally renowned artist best known for his work in sacred art. The support and high standards of his father in Ondřej's artistic training are very important to him. The motivation, energy and effort that Otmar puts into his work is the example he grew up with and which has inspired him since childhood.
"The most important quality a sculptor should have, in my opinion, is diligence. [...] From the time I was six years old, I spent all my summer days in my father's workshop and today I can spend twelve to fifteen hours a day there. Endurance is another important characteristic, as sculpting is a marathon, not a sprint. The last qualities for me are introspection and humility. I know I should mention talent too, but it is given to us and if we don't develop it ourselves, through our own efforts, and if we don't work on it, it will be useless to us anyway." Ondřej Oliva
The choice of material is important for the artist who chooses bronze or aluminium to give his works a long-term perspective. He says: "If I invest so much effort, work, time and energy in creating a sculpture, the result must be final and permanent. [...] I think each metal radiates a specific energy and speaks its own language. From the design phase of the work, I already know what material I will use for the final sculpture." The process of creation linked to the use of these metals is very long and laborious: the production of a sculpture from start to finish thus takes several months.
Ondřej Oliva's aim is to create visually interesting sculptures whose form and content are accessible to everyone, and for this reason he chooses objects that are present in our everyday lives. "The inspiration for my work is all around me, you just have to keep your eyes open and be aware of the stimuli around you. I like to travel and I always bring natural elements or objects that have captured my attention back from my travels."
Nature is indeed a very important source of inspiration for the artist. In particular, he attributes great symbolic value to trees. His dissertation on Gastronomy and the Aesthetics of Food, as well as his three-year experience as a chef in a luxury restaurant in the United States, have also greatly inspired him: the subjects of his contemporary sculptures include nuts, apples and molluscs, reinterpreted through the artist's eye and imbued with multiple references and allusions. Ondřej Oliva particularly likes to use the contrast between natural and organic forms and symmetrical or industrial elements in his work.
Since the 2010s, Ondřej Oliva has exhibited in galleries and institutions in the Czech Republic and Europe, including the MAXXI Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome (Italy, 2015). His works are part of private and public collections such as the National Gallery and the Museum of Young Art (ARTBANKA) in Prague. The artist has also been selected to create public monuments and monumental works: the "Meeting Place" fountain for the town of Uherský Brod (Czech Republic, 2015), the four-metre "Tree of Knowledge" in Modrá (Czech Republic, 2016) and the tombstone of the famous footballer Josef Masopust in Vyšehrad Cemetery (Czech Republic, 2017).