Adriana Oliver

Faceless, neo-pop portraits muse on identity in an ever-changing world.

Spanish artist Adriana Oliver, born 1990, currently lives and works a short distance from Barcelona.

Press

The artist's elegant canvases have captured the attention of fashion press worldwide, with features in publications such as GQ Brazil, Harper’s Bazaar Brazil and Vogue Hong Kong.

Did you know?

Her practice unites a love for romantic, mid-century cinema and photography with a studied interest in gender and multiculturalism.

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Practice overview

Faceless portraits are, essentially, an oxymoron - but not for Oliver. With elegant graphic sensibility, her blank silhouettes explore societal expectations in modern-day life. Having started out as a photographer, she transitioned to the medium of painting because she felt it offered her greater autonomy over the image and, by extension, greater capacity for storytelling. Oliver works primarily with acrylic on canvas or wood panel, and also translates her pared-back compositions into sculpture and relief. Her process is incredibly methodical, distilling each image to its fundamental elements.

The works draw inspiration from Pop Art while also riffing on art historical tropes and 1950s Hollywood romance - dousing them in an eerie sense of vintage nostalgia. Couple (2020) is a quintessential example of Oliver’s work. The purple-hued painting shows a perfectly staged living room furnished with a framed photo of a heterosexual couple on their wedding day. Though domestic, and implicitly romantic, the setting is oddly void of emotion. Thus, the work probes the ways in which marriage is co-opted by societal expectations and institutional tradition, rather than love. Imploring her viewers to consider how they see themselves, Oliver shrewdly examines individual identity through the lens of societal archetypes.

“I break images down to their most powerful, essential forms.”Adriana Oliver