Nathan Oliveira was a celebrated member of the San Francisco Bay Area Figurative artist community. Oliveira came into prominence as a figurative painter in the late 1950s, counter to the dominant Abstract Expressionist trend. Yet Oliveira worked not unlike certain Abstract Expressionists, beginning each of his works without a specific plan, applying pigment to the canvas almost at random until an image began to appear. Frequently, his works explored the relationships between people, animals, and nature; his subjects were those imbued with magical or shamanistic overtones. He studied with Max Beckmann, but admired the work of Edvard Munch, Alberto Giacometti, and Francis Bacon. His works differed from those of his Bay Area peers in their European influences, as well as their more emotional content.