Henrique Oliveira’s Urban Detritus Art

Henrique Oliveira’s Urban Detritus Art
Lourenço Bustani
  • 1 april 2009

Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira’s mind-bending artwork doesn’t fit into the genre of “street art” – yet the material he uses does come from the streets.

From early on Oliveira experimented with the surfaces of his paintings: he began by gluing newspaper onto a canvas and scraping it as well as mixing sand with paint. He was looking for ways to bring more texture to paintings. A breakthrough occurred while he was a student at the University of São Paulo: for two straight years, the view from his studio window was a wooden construction fence (tapume, in Portuguese). Over time, Oliveira began noticing the deterioration of the wood and its separation into multiple layers and colors, and related that to the process of painting. When the construction was finished and the worn out plywood fence was discarded, Oliveira collected the wood and used it in his first installation.

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