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“I just come out with ideas and I draw it then I paint it.”

Michael Oliveira has been working at Gateway Arts since 2000. While he works in a variety of materials, Oliveira’s stylized drawings constructed with paint markers and sharpies are his most sought after works. The cohesion between Oliveira’s two dimensional work centers around portraits of others. Oliveira’s ability to capture key features and isolate them in his drawings are quite remarkable. The intention with which he makes every mark is seen in his work, no matter the material or subject matter. Oliveira’s dedication to his work is apparent and part of what makes it so visually appealing.

Oliveira’s work has been shown throughout Massachusetts at the Berenberg Gallery, Boston’s State Hall, the Gateway Gallery, Barney’s NY, and the Mall at Chestnut Hill.

“Michael Oliveira has been working in the Gateway studios for over 16 years. This 37 year old Boston area artist has a reputation for being completely dedicated to his artistic practice. When Oliveira began his career at Gateway Arts, his major focus was the natural world. A self-taught artist, he produced many drawings and paintings of landscapes with a tree as the prominent visual element. Over time, he began showing an interest in portraiture. He wanted to create art works of people that he knew or knew of. He began asking his facilitators for photographs of these individuals, which he used to make complex pieces that took weeks for him to complete. He still approaches his work in much the same manner, carefully studying the photograph, he begins drawing in ink and then adds color using paint or markers. He is careful and precise, and when the work is completed, he is very proud of what he has created. To him his portraits look exactly like his subjects, but to the viewer these works have an unusual abstracted quality with exaggerated sense organs, like enormous ears or large mouths with well rendered teeth. One might attribute horrific qualities to some of these faces, but to Oliveira they are benign renditions of people that he admires. There was a period several years ago when his signature began to gain more and more prominence in his work. Eventually he made several series of drawings in which his signature became the prime subject matter. This exhibition acts as a mini retrospective of a very serious artist who is devoted to his craft.”

-Stephen De Fronzo, Curator

This exhibition will be featured in the Front Gallery at Gateway Arts from July 5 – August 27, with an artists reception on Saturday July 23 from 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

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