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Rising Stars: Meet Oliver Sanchez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Oliver Sanchez.

Hi Oliver, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m a multi-disciplinary artist based in Miami. As a Cuban- American refugee, I moved to NYC with my brother Adolfo Sanchez where we participated in the early 1980‘s East Village artistic era. Our work was recently included in the MoMA – Club 57 Retrospective. I am a self-taught maker working closely with established artists on special projects.

Collaborators include Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Daniel Arsham, R&R Studios and many others. I am also the founding director of Swampspace in the Miami Design District, an independent alternative arts venue with over 80 cultural events since 2005. I had a major solo exhibition at the Miami Beach Public Library in 2018. I enjoy mentoring emerging artists such as Ruth Burotte and interns from local high schools. As a member of the avant-garde I have a passion for poking fun at the status quo of the arts industry. I advocate for environmental concerns, uplifting human dignity, and having good times with friends of every stripe.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
For better of worse, art has been a major thorn of my life since I can remember. Having an amazing loving family has been a blessing. Although I did not set out to be a conduit for other artists, I have been in the company of some of the very best and wildest artist. From Jean-Michel Basquiat and Madonna to Jen Stark, Bhakti Baxter and all the greats from Miami. You could say that coincidence is fate. It’s truly humbling to collaborate with such unique originators. In my personal artistic practice there is a hefty arsenal of skills and tools for expression. My engagement in the industry spans from the penthouse to the gutter. I straddle the two worlds from the elite museums of blue-chip investment art to the raw graffiti and street art phenomena of global mass culture.

Like oil and vinegar, these dynamics make for an interesting career. One could say my goal as a full-time artist is to live the example for others; so that there may be a greater understanding of civic principals, critical thought, and the celebration of life. Now that i’m old, people call me their Art-Father, OG geezer swampy boomer, Papi-Chulo and even Hero! as reported on the nightly news recently. But the truth is I’m just Oliver from Swampspace.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Although I make art regularly, I’m mostly known as an artists artist; a fabricator and facilitator on special projects. I can make stuff and also break things. Secondly, I’m known for founding and directing Swampspace, an independent arts venue in the Miami Design District for nearly 20 years. I’m most proud of my multi-disciplinary role in the arts community locally and worldwide. Pay no attention to the wizard behind the curtain. What sets me apart from others is that I’m still here! alone on the top of a hill, staring at the cosmos wondering, whatever is next, I’m ready.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
With so much loss all around the world, I feel very super luck to simply be alive in these times and having a decent rolodex. But I’m not gonna lie, when trying to catch that big wave of fame and fortune… Luck Trumps Talent.


  • drawings 500-1500
  • paintings 2500-5000
  • mentoring – no charge
  • consulting – market price

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: olisan321
  • Facebook: swampspace
  • Twitter: swampspace

Image Credits
Monica Mcgivern

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