(From the artist's biography:)
Born in Zurich in 1948, Oliver Frey grew up fluent in Italian — his parents hailed from Ticino, the Italian-speaking canton of Switzerland — as well as German. His artistic career started in 1956, when he was almost eight, and the Frey family went to live in Britain. On the flight a steward handed the puzzled Oliver a Dan Dare badge. He had never heard of the Pilot of the Future, but discovered tucked under the cushions of a sofa in the hotel the family stayed in for a week copies of Eagle comic, and the badge and the Dan Dare strip matched up.
|Oliver as a corporal in the Swiss Army, 1967|
When he started school in Wembley, young Oliver discovered that his classmates were comic-mad, especially for Eagle. There had been no such comics in Switzerland and he was immediately taken by the quality of the artwork, immersing himself in the deeds of Dan Dare and the dastardly Mekon. He began copying the drawings of Eagle's artists, and their styles became seminal influences. The sensation of bodies in movement, often in violent action, captured his imagination—a quality that has never left his work.
Did he inherit his talent for drawing? ‘I wouldn't say my family was particularly artistic,’ he recalls, ‘although my great-grandfather had been a painter of landscapes and portraits who’d made his way in the USA. I only ever saw a couple of his paintings. My family encouraged me to keep drawing, though.’...[continues here].
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