La Polo India magazine: interview with Salvador Fernandez Oliva

La polo India


Can you tell us your experience when you first visited the Madrid racecourse?

I first visited the Madrid racecourse when I was 5 years old, since my father was a handicapper. I used to play with my brothers, running right next to where the race was taking place, and pretending we were racing as well.

Do tell us something about your first horse sculptures, what prominent role did they play in your career?

My first horse sculpture was a clay one, by “hollowing” the horse figure from a clay block. I realized I could do what I wanted but that I was lacking technique to achieve an sculpture that could express the movement horses transmit.

Salvador Fernandez Oliva, equestrian sculptor

Salvador Fernandez Oliva

Horses are shy in nature, but fierce when it comes to sports what do you think about this statement?

Horses are more conscious than what we believe them to be. There are horses that trust their jokey, there are kind-hearted horses, and horses that engage themselves totally devoted to their jokey.

You have an Industrial engineering degree, but you are an artist by profession is there any story behind it?

I started my studies being only 16 years old, and while studying I realized I wanted my hobby to be my career, my profession. I was lucky to have my first exhibit a year before finishing my studies, and therefore I knew what to do after finishing my studies.

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Your inspiration are horses, your most striking works majorly reflect the horses in action, at full gallop, playing polo or racing. So, the question is which characteristic of the horses do you tend to showcase from your works?

I only pretend to showcase my personal experience with horses: I wanted to communicate and share what I could feel when galloping myself, when playing polo, when racing.  

Tell us something about the biggest scale sculpture you have created till date?

The biggest scale sculpture is a 3 and a half meters high horse (4 if you count its base) and its rider, that represents a historical figure, the rider that crossed Spain to spread the manifesto to fight against the French invasion in 1808.

Horses bronze sculptures

"Polo team"

What is the first thing that resonates in your mind when you hear horses?

Gentleness, a mix of strength and sensibility.

You work with bronze, silver and iron to sculpt your sculptures, which material is the easiest one to work with and have you ever tried making out a sculpture by the amalgamation of two or all the metals?

My favorite material is bronze since it is the most expressive one.

Which piece of your work is your favorite till now?

I always have the same answer to that question: my favorite piece is always my last piece.

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"The curve"

Ok, this is last, apart from being an equine artist you are an author of three books and also a piano lover, can you provide us some tit bits about your books and love for piano?

My books are pedagogical in order to learn how to enjoy art, aiming to share my love for art, since I truly believe that at school, when we are kids, we are not taught to enjoy art but only to memorize the history of both art and artists. My first book is titled “The creativity of the look”, and the second one “The musicality of color”. I received my first piano lesson when I was 12 years old, and my dream was to arrange a painting & sculpture exhibit where I could also play for my guests.  I have done so many times, and I even have a piano in my studio. I wish I could play more often.

Dressage contemporary bronze sculpture
"Dressage silhouette"
Sakshi Sharma | La Polo international 2021