Szymon Oltarzewski was born in 1977 in Poland. His first professional experience started at the age of nineteen with ‘Beta’ advertising agency which recognized his drawing and painting talent and started to sponsor young Szymon. Although he graduated in Environmental Engineering from the University of Opole, the key formative experiences that shaped Oltarzewski’s future style happened in the period from 1999-2002 in which he deepen his knowledge of the art history and developed further his drawing and sculptural skills focusing on wood, carbon and plaster. In 2003 he moved from Poland to Pietrasanta – a marble capital. He enrolled at the Sculpture Department – Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara and simultaneously he started to work with different artisans and foundries in the area which gave to Oltarzewski opportunity to work with some of the greatest contemporary sculptors that shared their experiences and knowledge, but also gave him the access to work with them on the each fase of the sculpture artistic process. In 2009 he completed the first series of marble sculptures and he has the first solo show ‘Non Tocare’ at the Aria Art Gallery. Since then, he had five solo exhibitions and he participated in many group shows internationally including museums, private galleries and fairs. Oltarzewski’s work is part of important collections, both private and institutional. He lives and works in Pietrasanta.
The marble that come to light from large blocks is always the undisputed protagonist in Szymon Oltarzewski’s work. Echo organic forms are reminiscent of cells, bodies with morbid movement and surface refinement. The subjects represented constitute a repertoire that sweeps from cellular world to the human one and surpasses it in a continuous dialogue between the microcosms and macrocosms, from simple life forms and complex organisms, who connect between their correspondent regime and equivalence, as every piece has value both as single entity and as part of the whole. Including objects both more figurative and abstract, Oltarzewski recounts a story of an evolution. Forms that grows and rise together, from cell to alien, which is not only extra-terrestrial, but seen simply as ‘the other’ – something that is not identified because it’s not recognizable.