Artist Oscar Olivares, 26, spoke to VOA about his ecological murals and how they have transformed his career as well as several Venezuelan communities. The first time artist Oscar Olivares was asked to create a mural with bottle caps in Venezuela, it took him several days to decide.
Artist Oscar Olivares – Venezuelan Man Promotes Art and Ecology Through Paintings
Not for lack of time, but because it was a project that “did not attract his attention,” as he admitted in an interview with La Voz de América.
The proposal, an initiative of the environmental organization Okospiri and the Movement of Architects of the Future (MAF), was made by the mayor’s office of El Hatillo, a municipality in the state of Miranda and coincided with a trip Olivares made to France.
So, while he was thinking about what decision to make, he began to study the technique of pointillism, which consists of creating work by using tiny dots. It was precisely this that allowed him to accept the proposal to create the country’s first bottle cap mural.
“This [pointillism] is what made me understand that each bottle cap is a dot of color. That’s what allowed me to take this material to a new level with everything we’re doing and with that first mural in El Hatillo, where I was able to propose the four macaws that represent it,” the 26-year-old artist recalled to VOA.
Almost four years have passed since then. That first proposal, made to the Venezuelan artist in 2019, was the beginning of a project that has allowed him to create ecological murals in several states of the country.
Oscar Olivares: In 2022, 8 murals made of bottle caps were inaugurated in Venezuela and beyond
In 2022 alone, Oscar Olivares inaugurated eight murals made of bottle caps in Venezuela, but he also took his art to other countries such as Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
Through his art, Olivares has brought a message of unity and environmental awareness to many parts of Venezuela. Not only that, but the Venezuelan artist says that his work has served as an inspiration to other national artists who now use this technique in their work.
“In Lara, Miranda and Zulia, many artists are working with this technique, also the feedback from the public has been very positive, people are very involved and that is the most important thing, that people participate. It is not just a mural made by an artist, but people want to collaborate and be part of it, stick a cap, bring collected caps, they want to be part of this work because of its ecological connotation and the artistic transformation that it also gives to the spaces,” assures the young man.
The creation of murals with bottle caps has allowed Oscar Olivares to make great strides in his professional career. For example, in September 2022, he created the largest mural of bottle caps in the world, in Guatire, Miranda State. It took 300,000 caps and 33 days of work.
Largest bottle cap mural in the world – 330 square meters – Guatire, Venezuela
The work measures 330 square meters and although it has not yet been recognized by the Guinness World Record, it is the largest, since the mural with bottle caps certified by this organization measures only 270 square meters.
Olivares explains that they did not have the certification with Guinness because of a budget issue and also because they intend to continue expanding the mural they created in Guatire to make it much larger.
“We have not had the certification because there is a very high economic cost to get it and in the situation that Venezuela is living, that amount of money can be used for many other things that are a priority at this time. The mural will continue to exist and this certification can be obtained later,” he says.
Another achievement of the Venezuelan thanks to this project was the opportunity to exhibit one of his works at the Carrousel du Louvre Art Fair in Paris, France, last October.
“It was a great experience, it was the only work with this technique in the whole exhibition and this is very important to say because it is a very big exhibition that has artists from all continents and of all ages. It was the only one with bottle caps and I brought all the caps from Venezuela to make the work there. The work attracted a lot of attention, people took a lot of pictures of it, commented on it and the press went there, well, it had a tremendous impact. Not just for Venezuelans there, but for people all over the world,” he says…