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Endorsement: artist Olaf Breuning

Endorsement: artist Olaf Breuning

By: Oliver Horton

Can art be funny too?


Olaf Breuning is an interdisciplinary artist originally from Switzerland. His father gave him a camera aged 16 and photography became his defining medium (video, installation, drawing and painting are also in his repertoire). As much as anything, the camera let him get outside and see the world and its oddball inhabitants – other art students were stuck in the library reading history. Olaf trained at the University of the Arts in London and moved to New York at the turn of the Millennium. Often when the question is asked “is this art?” it is because the item depicted is so raggedly offhand: here’s a toilet I signed, here’s my slutty bed. With Olaf’s work the question comes from the absurdity in his images, which test the limits of humour and contemporary aesthetics. “Olaf’s photo-collages, sculptures, paintings, and comics are simultaneously funny and provocative, absurd and eerie, tragic and fragile. His work provides ironic commentary on the clichés and trappings of our time” – says the press release. Also there is a picture of an ass painted like a face on the cover.

Images from Olaf Breuning. Copyright Gestalten 2016.