Oliver Polzin’s focus in his body of paintings is to explore the dimensionality of remembered experience, the relationship of the mind—his own and his viewers’—to the imagined world. Inspired by video gaming as well as nature, he presents a collection of small and three large images, often personifying an archetypal trait. The paintings address human characteristics from angelic to demonic. Based on a layering of memories and dreams, Polzin’s representational images are colorful, illustrative, and multi-layered; they are filled with a level of detail that continues to offer new clues with each subsequent investigation. Much like the components found in video games, small objects in Polzin’s paintings such as carefully titled books, laundry under a table, an anvil on a shelf, become ‘treasures’ that lend insight to each character or painted ‘world.’
As if to ground the fantastic in the real, Polzin sites geometry as his structural framework. The physical space of his compositions is organized on angular underpinnings, clean perspective lines, and rectangular volumes. His intention is both “an acknowledgement and dissolution of three-dimensional drawing techniques,” says Polzin.
Polzin received his BFA in painting from Arizona State University in 2009. About his work, he explains: “Playing with paint is visceral, and for me makes manifest an experience concerned with illusion, describing and creating a new experience for the viewer. I use layering of information systems to build visual impact, drawing the mind into imagination and into my painted environments. The objects in each painting work to keep up the fantasy through symbolism and a sense of magic. Through the visual language of archetypes, the magical realms are at once proven to be imperfect, and in the end, they too become ‘real’ and everyday.”