Born in Pinar del Río, Cuba in 1949, Pedro Pablo Oliva completed the first part of his studies at the Escuela Provincial de Artes Plásticas in his home province of Pinar de Río before moving to Havana and completing his studies at the Escuela Nacional de Arte de La Habana specialising in painting.

Having won numerous prizes and distinctions throughout his life, Pablo Pedro Oliva has become one of Cuba’s most famous and influential artists, earning his place amongst his fellow peers and predecessors as an internationally known and respected Cuban artist. Alongside his career as a practicing artist, Pablo Oliva has also taught at the arts university, the Instituto Superior de Artes and has opened up his studio space to create a cultural hub in his town of Pinar del Río. Pedro Oliva, a strong supporter of an academic and philosophical grounding within the arts ensured the liberal space Pedro Oliva created held freedom of expression at its core. Sadly due to the dissemination of censored literature, the space as a creative hub, was closed down.’

Stylistically the artist stresses his focus on Cubanía, a representation of that which is Cuban, he argues it is not so much a conscious choice, rather than something that simply runs through his body and blood. His representation of Cubanía is a critical analysis of society within the experience of Cuban society, as opposed to his contemporaries symbolic and coloristic depictions of said theme.

Pedro Pablo Oliva’s neo-expressionist style has been heavily influenced by Cuban maestros such as Antonia Eiriz and Eduardo Abela, as well a European Symbolists Marc Chagall and Gustav Klimt. Pedro Pablo Oliva explains that he has unintentionally recorded his life in art from the start of hi career. He has captured moments that have marked him in his life coupled with the integration of the world the artists lives in, with its contradictions, its joys, its sorrows. He explains, “All of my work is a big fable, or small fables that are intermingled in this grand fable which is the Cuban reality”.

For the moment Pedro Pablo Oliva states that his work is focused on the disenchantment with utopia. His work features a character named Utopito. The very incarnation of utopia, but at the same time disenchantment. Utopito lives a very great contradiction. It’s the contradiction in which the Cuban people have lived, with plans today that later fail. Then others are put forth and again fail. He likens the character to that of Bobo seen in the works of Abela or Salomón from the works of Chago.

Pedro Pablo Oliva currently lives and works between Havana, Cuba, his workshop being part of La Mina and his open studio in Pinar del Río, Cuba.

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