Monday, March 29, 2010

Olaf Breuning Artist Statement

Olaf Breuning is a mixed media artist working in photography, installation and video. No matter the media Breuning’s work repeatedly references pop culture, the evils of human existence, explores notions of male and female gender, or exists as simply a collection of visual iconography. His interest in the multiple is evident throughout much of his work in the repetitive characters and invented dichotomies. His influences include artists such as Jeff Koons, Henry Cartier-Bresson, Jeff Wall, Cindy Sherman as well as music by Talking Heads, and The Eurythmics. His video work is often staged in found locations, using friends as subjects as well as homemade costumes and bargain shop props. His photographs appear as almost out-takes from his videos. Inspired by clichĂ©s in horror films and music videos, his images take on an almost childlike quality as a result of his absurd humor and crude editing techniques. Bodies covered in paint, eyeballs attached to inanimate objects, and bizarre wigs are all gestures Breuning uses to express violence, sexuality, or companionship. In his Image “Double” his subjects stop and pose for a happy snapshot in the middle of a tennis game, but Breuning has covered each of their faces with a make-shift mask cut out of a vibrant yellow construction paper. Two holes for the eyes and one for the mouth, he conceals their identities and places his own face taking complete control over their representation. In another image, “Mr. Hand and Mrs. Ass, Mrs. Knee & Mr. Food”, he places his subjects in precarious positions again concealing their identities, adding the playful twist by painting childish faces on their nude body parts.

 this seems to be written in two different voices...consolidate them, expand on his practice without indexing individual pieces...

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