100 Creatives

100 Creatives: Christopher Olivier

What He Does: For almost two decades, Christopher Olivier has been making art under two different artistic "identities": Olivier and Bexar. Under his own given name, he does pop-inspired paintings and photography. As Bexar, he makes sculpture out of discarded electronics parts (the twin names sometimes "collaborate" on certain pieces). Nowadays, Olivier/Bexar's work inhabits the world of digital art. Using Photoshop, he manipulates photographs of circuit boards, electronic components, and his own sculptures to create anything from faux-cityscapes to colorful and hazy psychedelic patterns. "I make [Photoshop] do things most people don't know it can do," Olivier says. "My approach with using Photoshop is a painter's approach...but people get upset with me if I call it a painting." Why He Likes It: Olivier likes to try and present the objects around us in unfamiliar ways. "When I started being an artist," he says, "I really thought if I'm going to do this, I'm going to come from a place that nobody else comes from. I'm going to see things in a way nobody else sees things and notice things that nobody else is noticing. I don't want to pick up a camera and take pictures of people and things like everybody else does. So that's when I started going the way of digital -- nobody was doing it at the time. In fact, I was considered a real outsider at the time and now it's everywhere."

What Inspires Him: Aside from his early fascination with machines, Olivier also grew up wanting to be an architect. He spent his free time wandering through downtown Houston, exploring the catacombs or taking elevators up to see the view from above (skydiving, a hobby of his in the early 1990s, also had something to do with this). He loves Terry Gilliam's film Brazil, where the world is built on archaic technology forced to fulfill the needs of the future. The cartoons and pop-artists that influenced his early paintings still shine through in the bright, full colors of his digital work as well.

If not this, then what? When he's not making art, Olivier also works as a hairdresser, which he tells us is "also very sculptural."

His proudest moment: When he was invited to be part of the "Texas 12" Biennial at Wichita Falls Museum of Art, Olivier got his first notice from a big establishment that he was doing something different from everybody else.At the same time, he was introduced to other artists in the state who were approaching art from exciting and different angles.

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