Oliver George Stephens (b. 1990, Antigua Guatemala) is a contemporary artist based in Guatemala. He double-majored with a BFA in painting and a BFA in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2017. Exhibiting talent from a young age, Oliver has had an on-again off-again relationship with fine-art as he explored a cornucopia of artistic expressions. Nevertheless, a zebra cannot change its stripes and the practice of painting has become the only certain element of this artists’ life.
He has notably participated in the “Padiglione Italia” for the 54th Venice Biennale curated by Vittorio Sgarbi. Through a meticulous use of line-work, textures and geometry, flowing narratives arise into view. Layers of hidden meaning are created through symbolism and abstraction granting glimpses into imaginary worlds.
Born and raised in Guatemala to an American father and an Italian mother, Oliver developed an extensive world-view that stretched far beyond the confines of his small nation. Outside he spoke Spanish, went to a local school, and experienced the life of a Guatemalan youth. Inside his parents raised and educated him in the fashion of their own homelands, speaking both English and Italian simultaneously. Therefore, before long Guatemala felt small and crowded compared to the promise of the vast world that opened up to him.
Leaving home at the age of 18, Oliver spent the next 10 years traveling the world, specifically Italy and the United States where he developed a stronger understanding of his unorthodox heritage. Nevertheless, Guatemala would always beckon him home and today the artist seeks to establish himself as a Guatemalan artist. Currently Oliver resides back in his home-town of Antigua Guatemala.