French-born Olivier Dubois Cherrier is a visual artist who expresses himself through Land, art, painting, sculpture, photography, philosophy, and poetry.
His grandmother, also a sculptor, was from Martinique, a French Caribbean island, where she raised her children, five boys and one girl, that girl being Olivier’s mother. Olivier loved spending time with his grandmother who taught him Creole songs, and these family roots very much influenced his art making. As an adult, Olivier has lived in Guadeloupe, Barcelona, the Dominican Republic, and Miami where he developed a deep love for the ocean. He now chooses to live in the Sonoran desert west of Tucson, where he has created his own sculpture garden, which he calls, The Island.
“As a kid, I was very aware of a double cultural inheritance: French-Caribbean, because each time we had family reunions, the food, the music, and the conversations in creole between my uncles, mother, and grandmother were frequent. I never really felt like I belonged to the place where I was born, rather, I felt a deeper connection to my creole influenced childhood. I think there is always an ambiguous relationship, for the people who moved away from the Caribbean islands to start a new life in France, between the nostalgia of their creole childhood and the promises of a Continental future. A kind of American dream probably, in which migrants try to adapt themselves to the dominant culture without forgetting too much where they are coming from originally. “
Expecting Nothing is Going to Change
As artist in residence at The Land With No Name, Olivier created Expecting Nothing Is Going To Change, a large-scale painting or “billboard” that contemplates human presence and impermanence. He painted over many months on-site. He respectfully gathered Bear grass, rocks, and earth, and incorporated them into the piece, painting horizontally with his bare feet and hands, and throwing down materials onto the canvas with gestural, dance-like enthusiasm. It was also somewhat of a rejection of the billboard industry from the days he worked with his father in France, and instead offers himself up to the liberations he feels through painting.
His work is a celebration of a new found freedom in the desert, owning his love for the land, art, and self-expression, and honoring the present moments that make us who we are. He also documents the work over time with a drone, capturing beautiful changes in seasons. This gives the viewer a larger scope of what surrounds the painting and The Land With No Name, and offers contemplation of one’s own place in existence.
“I believe most human beings escape the awareness of their own finiteness by keeping busy, working, building, consuming, distracting. Since the rise of secularity and the abandonment of traditional beliefs in God, it has become more challenging to give sense to our life, proved by science to be absurd and infinitesimal. By using the natural elements found in my close environment as medium in my practice of art and by questioning the evolution of humankind, I consider each piece I create as an open window towards a new paradigm. (...)” - Olivier