Francis Olvez-Wilshaw’s work looks at models and bodies of economic and political power. He’s drawn to there collective desire to preserve anonymity and resistance to outside critique.
Financial services (even after the 2008 financial crash) is upheld in Anglosphere western democracies as the most profitable, successful and important sector in an economy. It maintains a position at the forefront of technological advancements and economic development.
In his current practice Olvez-Wilshaw is exploring ideas of infinity, symbolism, luxury experience and constructs of power. This often involves the examination of monetery infinity (limitless money through quantitative easing, executive pay etc) and the abstract world of mathematical modelling (high-frequency trading and algorithms) He draws upon sources of investigative journalism, new developments in technology and trends in corporate lifestyle. This manifests itself in installations that have a theatrical quality- communicated through my preferred choice of materials- polystyrene, MDF, paper/canvas backdrops and through the placement of the objects and projections which often create a ‘front’ view. A three-dimensional collage that refers to theatrical sets and shop window displays. He doesn’t aim to faithfully reproduce any single element of this complex world. Preferring to ‘slice and dice’ the world in installations that communicate a sense of disconnect, desire and exclusivity.
Alongside his sculptural practice Olvez-Wilshaw produces portrait paintings of key characters from history and current affairs and combining them with quotes attributed to them. Using cheap large rolls of paper and poster paint he paints people of ‘iconic’ status and people with significantly less of a public persona. The quotes attached vary from the absurd, the comical, war cries, philosophical and motivational.