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Attractive, alienated, absurd? Olav van Lede's art brings historical facts to light and is not infrequently funny, but always spectacular!

Olav van lede artist

Olav van Lede

'When history becomes my story' Olav van Lede examines historical events and documents and, through an icon, draws them into the present. In his works, he uses original newspaper articles and magazines from the past in addition to acrylic paint.

Impressions artworks by Olav van Lede

It's an oft-repeated saying; "Putting the past behind you. Artist Olav van Lede doubts that this is always necessary. He sees the past as a treasure trove of unique and valuable moments, steeped in learning experiences, nostalgia and renewal. In his artworks, Olav vividly connects historical documents and themes, often through telling icons or objects. He highlights diverse topics ranging from space travel and war to strategy, gastronomy and nostalgia. For Olav, the creation of a new work of art begins far outside his studio, where he searches for historical documents at collectors, antique dealers and museums. In this way, Olav brings attention back to both beautiful and humorous and sometimes less rosy facts and moments from the past.

Olav van Lede was born on June 28, 1976, in Montreal, Canada. After wandering through Belgium, England and France, he landed in Amsterdam at the beginning of the 21st century, where he moved into an old studio in the Oud Zuid district of the city. Here he lived for many years as he developed himself and followed his artistic path, inspired by big names such as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. During this period his first works were created, which soon found their way into various homes and offices.

An artist and designer in one, Olav, brimming with ideas, launched his own interior design line in the following years, featuring small furniture, lighting and accessories. All imbued with a touch of humor and designed with the motto "a smile in the mind," under his own label and management. But in early 2022, it started itching again and Olav decided to return to his original passion. He moved back into a studio and focused entirely on his art.

Since 2022, Olav has received several awards with his innovative, recognizable and original style. His work is now represented by several renowned galleries and is in demand by art lovers worldwide.


Awards David Polak, YES ART: "Olav van Lede's work is attractive at first glance and captivating at second glance. The contrasts between the attention-grabbing subjects and the rest of the works are relevant and they give the works depth. All in all, the works make a great impression on me."


Miscellaneous: Excerpt from the opening remarks of the exhibition ReMastered by Jop Ubbens, former CEO of Christies Jop Ubbens: "The painter Olav van Lede, for example, transformed a corny traditional still life with fruit in which he leaves and even highlights the apple as a symbol of NY into a painting with a juicy hot dog, the American delicacy par excellence. The effect is alienating and at the same time spectacular".