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 consistency. Throughout his work, appropriated everyday objects transform stereotypes and famous art historical references are twisted.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).