Oliver Cain (b. 1996, United Kingdom) is an English-born New Zealand-based artist whose work develops and covers a wide range of topics using various materials. His artworks, subverted linguistic paintings, ceramic sculptures, and installations, bear a certain physicality, and push the boundaries between conceptualism and post-pop art.
Cain’s creative process is a key element in his practice, resulting in works that can take any form and consistence. Throughout his work, appropriated everyday objects transform stereotypes and famous art historical references are twisted. A proud member of the queer community, Cain uses his work to examine, question, and criticize the relationships between gender, (homo)sexuality and societies’misconceptions surrounding these themes. However, and despite initial appearances, a purely erotic and queer reading of his work is often misguided as a universal profundity is always at play, revealing itself gradually to those willing to look and feel.
Oliver Cain won the Eden Arts Award in 2019 and was a finalist in the Wallace Arts Awards and NZ Contemporary Art Awards (2020/2021). Recent exhibitions include the International Ceramic Biennale of Talavera (Spain); Pātaka Art+Museum (WAA, New Zealand); Copelouzos Family Art Museum as part of the COV—ART Project (Greece); the ART MATTERS 3 online group show at Galerie Biesenbach (Germany); the It’s a Boy solo show featuring Billy Apple at Föenander Galleries (New Zealand); and Paint etc. at the Corban Estate Arts Centre (New Zealand).