Cary Oliva

“My art practice echoes life in that we can’t always know (or control) what is to come. We try hard to get it right and to follow the rules, but even still, the outcome can be very different. Sometimes it’s not perfect, but a lot of times, it’s a wonderful surprise.”

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"These little imperfections still hold much value for me as I know the process I’ve gone through to make them, and it helps me change my perspective, be grateful for what I have and surprised by what I might not have seen before."

A couple years ago I moved into a modern home – with a lot of windows, white walls and clean lines.  When I saw Cary’s work I was immediately drawn to the torn edges and saturated colors    It was a perfect juxtaposition that brought warmth into my home.

How would you describe your work?  “My desire is to present images of my environment and travels through a process that creates a dream-like quality evoking a sense of wonder and nostalgia. I enjoy the transformative  quality of Polaroid techniques that help one see these objects in a new light. Taking the time to slow down, notice details of form, color, time and place is where I begin”.

“I played around with traditional 35 mm photography for many years but when I learned about different Polaroid techniques, I fell completely in love with these processes. Most of what I enjoy making are Polaroid transfers & emulsion lifts”.

How is your personality reflected in your work?
“The process of creating each piece is quite unique and forces me to be very mindful. As I am naturally anxious and a bit of a perfectionist, this process makes me slow down and be in the moment, accepting the imperfections that arrive through the unpredictability of this process and learning to work with those. I enjoy talking about different perspectives, cultures, and languages and to me, this technique is a way for me to share a different view of things I find beautiful from the world in which we live. I am naturally curious and playful as is this process which allows me to show people something different within the everyday that we often times take for granted and don’t really ‘see’.

Cary made some custom pieces for me last year that I just absolutely adore. I pasted that picture below – yes, that’s my living room!
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Visit BYCARY.COM for art prints, cards and beautiful glass products.

You can also contact Cary directly for more information about pricing and custom orders:

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