FEATURED ARTIST: OLLIE GLATZER
“Art gives us power,” is a motto Ollie has taken to heart, ruminating on how vital the creation of art and sharing are to the sanity of our world. “I think it's one of the noblest and purest of human endeavors.”
Growing up around his mother's art practice left a tremendous impact on Ollie. Her focus primarily on abstract and surreal pop art collage of the 80’s, seeing the way she created her dynamic compositions challenged Ollie’s understanding of art from an early age. “She encouraged art making and supported free interaction around it without expectation,” says Ollie. “Oakland and the surrounding Bay Area was an amazing place to grow up,” he says. “The diversity of culture, both harmonious and tumultuous, provided many valuable opportunities to self evaluate and also embrace differences.” The musical climate of the bay also contributed to the artist’s development. He began studying the Violin at the age of seven and the bay provided a rich environment for him to push his studies forward. Influenced by the rise of hip hop and rap music, “Oakland's defunct Soul Beat community television station was a gold mine of exposure,” he says. “In parallel,” he explains, “the emergence of underground rave music also spoke to me on a deep level.”
Ollie develops pieces in two ways; either entirely improvisational or he composes the piece based on a drawing. “The latter blends the transferring of an existing image to the canvas with the improvisation of how it evolves and resolves compositionally,” he elaborates. “Calling a piece finished is something that I am constantly exploring. I ultimately try to remain as open and intuitive in that decision as possible.” Over the past five or six years Ollie’s visual arts practice gradually took the place of his work with sound and music. “It's been gradual and natural,” he says. “Painting and drawing give my brain and hands a similar satisfaction to playing the Viola, DJing or working in sound design. They are closely tied in my opinion. Over the past few years I've begun to think of my visual work more as pieces of music or sound compositions.”
His work blends geometric shapes with color, which morph into abstract images open for interpretation, reminiscent of animal, human and even machine-like forms. The grid lines are often present in his pieces tying painting to drawing and revealing that part of the process. They are bold and intricate.
Recently, Ollie took a job as a project manager with the Santa Fe art collective, Meow Wolf, to help them open their next exhibition in Las Vegas. “Integrating with their culture and process has been eye opening,” he says. “In my personal work, I have begun opening up my compositions by removing the gridded background of my previous paintings and working with the entire canvas. I'd like to see where this freedom and expansion takes me. I’d also like to explore larger format painting and see what it might do for my visual language.”
To see more of Ollie's work, visit his website: www.ollieglatzer.com and follow his instagram page @ollieglatzer