Swampspace's Oliver Sanchez on Collaborating with Art Stars: "I Was Creating Architecture to House the Paintings"
In 2006, Oliver Sanchez transformed the implausible into reality. "I tarred and feathered a classic Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible," the unpretentious and soft-spoken 55-year-old Cuban-American recalls. "The hardest part of the job was finding the right type of feathers, but we finally settled on goose down after going through a bunch of samples ranging from plain chicken feathers to the more exotic and ornate."
Karli Evans Oliver Sanchez: "Growing up, there was not a hammer in my house, but I loved building things."
Sanchez defiled the Rolls for a Wynwood exhibition by two Scandinavian artists, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, who aimed to erect a monument to art-world avarice. In the years since, he has become the go-to guy for making artists' visions a reality. He has created works for big-time locals such as Daniel Arsham, Bert Rodriguez, Naomi Fisher, Bhakti Baxter, and Typoe, as well as established international names.
No one would have predicted Sanchez would play such an important role in the art world. Three weeks after he was born in Camagüey, Cuba, dictator Fulgencio Batista's soldiers executed his father. When he was 9, he moved to Miami with his mother, Martha, and older brother Adolfo. "I grew up in a house about ten blocks from here," the artist recollects as he sits at a small table covered with playing cards and dominoes inside his new studio at North Miami Avenue and NW 39th Street. The place also houses Swampspace, the alt-haven Sanchez founded nearly a decade ago to showcase emerging and underrepresented artists.More »