One day I happened to stumble upon Oliver Czarnetta’s work absolutely by chance. I visited an art fair and found myself in Michael Schmalfuss gallery booth, before some sculptures in transparent resin, in the form of a lifesize head completely smooth on its surface. Its interior was created in stratified layers that were printed with mysterious messages in the form of letters, numbers, flowers. Each one had a face in it, some had several. There was something about those sculptures that made me meditate on all that we have inside our head, our mind, and how it's probably a mixture of what is naturally given to us along with what we learn throughout life and what we consciously or unconsciously observe, interpret and assimilate.
Years later when I was building up my own gallery and choosing the artists I wanted to represent I contacted Oliver Czarnetta. His response was immediate. We started working together. He has already participated in "Contemporary", a groupal exhibition in which the new artists of the Gallery were introduced. His works were widely accepted and celebrated what encouraged us to set his first solo exhibition.
Oliver Czarnetta studied art history and philosophy and simply could not hold a position as a mere observer. His commitment to art was, is, much higher.
Being his work tremendously spontaneous in terms of materials, workmanship, and craft drafts a discourse that transcends even being based in an apparent simplicity. Probably is his profound knowledge of art and philosophy what leads him to reconsider some interesting aspects of human relationships. And is probably the excessive discipline in his studies what forces him to leave the development of his praxis to random, trying to act with absolute freedom when dealing with forms, concepts, and materials.
His concern for man’s relationships with himself and with others, those who he calls "spectator" become the central theme of his artistic discourse. He seems to conceive one and the others as energies interacting positive and/or negatively but always being influenced and conditioned by each other.
Early in his career his great concern about what happens inside the head, the mind, led him to spend seven years creating sculptures that recreate the shape of it. At first its size was tiny, easily graspable by one hand and slowly, over time, they increase to be a true reflection of his own. In the first ones he used materials almost totally opaque, such as bronze, plaster, or tape. These materials are not chosen by chance, everything in them has a particular connotation, a map, a specific reference. The earlier pieces show us just an expression, a gesture, that sometimes reminds of ancient sculptures and where, because of its small size, the result is just the work of the fingerprints of the author that models them like sketches. Gradually these heads somehow need to be more readable, He needs to dive deeper inside and materials begin to become lighter, to suggest an intention. Czarnetta inevitably seems to be telling us how the individual drives himself to the path of communication. At this poing it urges him the use of transparent materials, his favourite, the resin, "the liquid crystal" as he calls it -that reveals the messages he will introduce inside those heads now made lifesize. In them we see a stratification that will allow the author to overlap messages and orders in the way of thoughts inside the sculptures. Each store a small universe where we will find as well pain as joy, violence, simplicity, nature, complexity... just the natural diversity of manhood.