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Microbe falls into the stylistic category of some of Olivier’s more recent large scale works that multilayer various different painterly processes in order to create an overall whole. We watch an abstract microcosmic world float, appear, and disappear. The various layers and elements of paint remind of minuscule forms of organic life. The cumulative levels of nonrepresentational painting that drift over the screen heavily reference Gerhard Richter’s “abstract Paintings” – named by Olivier as one of his two favourite living artists.
Jacco Olivier, born 1972, considers himself a painter. And yet, his works are animations: videos that document the interplay between representation and abstraction, astounding and yet delightfully simple to understand.
Every single painting of Olivier’s is reworked over and over in rough expressive brush strokes, with the artist recording every stage of painting meticulously by photographing the canvas. The films that result from this documentation process are rapturous animations of narrative episodes. A man bathes, an airplane lands, a woman wraps herself into a towel. The viewer is presented with an intimate display of the painter’s trade and decision making process as Olivier exposes every change to his composition.
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