Olivares’s work spans a variety of media, exploring the nature of the contemporary human condition; including themes of alienation, displacement, memory, loss, and connection. The scope of his work shifts from the deeply personal and autobiographical to the universal—a visceral celebration of what defines and unites us as human. This is Olivares’s first solo exhibition in New York after his 2018 show, Moléculas, at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The title of this exhibition, Naufragios (which translates from Spanish to mean “shipwrecks” or “castaways”, depending on the context) references a 1555 book of the same name by Spanish explorer Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca that detailed a maritime expedition to the Americas gone awry. Cabeza de Vaca’s semi-fictional, semi-autobiographical account describes in great detail his experiences meeting the indigenous tribes as the survivor of a shipwreck in what is now the gulf coast of the United States. The protagonist’s greatest discovery in this foreign land is that search for the unknown is ultimately more of an internal voyage.