Monday, March 22, 2010

Olaf Breuning Artist Statement


Olaf Breuning
Artist Statement

Olaf Breuning’s artwork derives many of its themes from aspects of popular culture as well as universal images and symbols. Breuning utilizes a variety of mediums, which include: photography, sculpture, video, and installation. Many of his pieces are staged and digitally manipulated. While other artists who work in this manner attempt to make their artifice look as authentic as possible, Breuning’s set-ups are crudely arranged and have a playful messiness to them. This crudeness becomes a part of the content in his work.

Breuning approaches his pieces and ideas in a child-like manner. His artwork reminds us of the way in which a child perceives the world, and this peculiar outlook that the artist employs as an adult is part of what makes his work so successful you can't have a value judgement in the middle of an artist statement. Furthermore, this aspect of Breuning’s practice is reinforced by his use of cultural archetypes to explore fundamental human impulses and instincts such as sexuality, friendship, and violence. For example, his portrayal of social and historical groups such as Vikings, cavemen, and natives is so playful and unpolished that it walks the line between humor and bad taste.

The amateur nature of his work makes it a spontaneous gesture, and this adds to the humor in it. The purposefulness behind his under worked aesthetic leaves the door open for the viewer.

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