Reproduced from the author's permission
The cornerstone for this body of work is William Shakespeare's Sonnet 66. The sentiment expressed in this sonnet is not much different from what I myself feel is important even today. Humanity has evolved technologically but not spiritually.
In my drawings rendered in ink and red chalk (sanguine), I strive to emphasize the part of our being that has apparently been denied. It is the ambiguous, the magic, the unutterable. Thus Art remains an important venue to say the things...which for some mysterious reason are all the more necessary to betold.
Information has been taken from http://www.oyetu.com/latinoarchivesentertianmnetjan02.htm
Art wasn't always an interest for Tomas Oliva Jr. He had been surrounded by art his entire life, his father is renowned sculptor Tomas Oliva Sr, founding member of "Grupo de Los Once" in Cuba. His father also rose to become the country's director of fine arts until he was banished by Castro's government for ideological differences. "My father dedicated his life to art. He mastered realism and was very skillful. He is one of my greatest influences," said Oliva.
Oliva was born in Havana, Cuba and it was there where he discovered his love for art. "I didn't want to study art. I had been around it for too long. One day there was a contest and the prize was acceptance to the school of fine arts. I entered the contest and found a deep interest in art and discovered the error I would have made if I studied something else. I am doing this because God wanted me to," said Oliva. Some of his works include "Frida Inquebrantable" a 10 feet tall limestone and steel piece at Cementerio de Carretas in Chile, "Frida" a 10 feet tall granite piece at Adichunchana Giri School of Medicine in South India and "The Way" a 10 x 8 feet Honduran mahogany door at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Sumner Washington.
Oliva's themes vary because he is inspired by different ideas. "Currently, my work is being inspired by William Shakespeare's Sonnet 66. This sonnet is not much different from what I feel is important today. Humanity has evolved technologically but not spiritually. I hope that through my work, I can make a remark to show how important it is to obtain and gain a balance between our spiritual life and our material life," he said.
His influences also include Michael Angelo and Van Gogh. "I have had an obsession for Michael Angelo for as long as I can remember and he has always been my hero. He was very powerful and very skillful in the development of the human being. I admire Van Gogh because he was very persistent. He lived under a lot of neglect but he never lost faith in his art," he said.