Published by JRP|Ringier. Edited by Olaf Breuning.
On a journey from England to New York, aboard of the Queen Mary II cruiser, Olaf Breuning made 73 drawings, laced with the references to popular culture and consumerism found in his multimedia installations, photography and videos. These themes are concentrated in Breuning's drawings, which are also characterized by a spirit of humor and subversion.
Most viewers will associate the Swiss artist Olaf Breuning with high-production-value film and photography projects, not low-tech, pointedly handmade work like these sketches. But on a recent trip from England to New York on board the ship The Queen Mary II, he sat down and made 73 direct, powerful and funny drawings. They combine memory with daydream, humor and subversion, and they concentrate the references to media, popular culture, and consumer dreams that appear in his multimedia work. Anthropomorphized lipsticks smile out and cute little mushroom clouds swirl up. So do fireworks, and a "Comfort Dragon" uses his many arms to carry a cell phone, radio, coffeepot and plant. Breuning's solo exhibition venues have included the Swiss Institute and Metro Pictures in New York, as well as other international galleries and museums.
Published by JRP|Ringier. Edited by Lionel Bovier. Essays by Inge Lindner-Gaillard and Brian Kerstetter.
Swiss artist Olaf Breuning's videos revel hilariously in adolescent antics and pop culture. In a recent work, Wayne's World types don masks, eat dog food, and throw m&m's at pets, and in another segment, a gang invades Amish country, strips a passerby, pulls a mask over his head, and chases him into the woods. Like Mike Kelley before him, Breuning seeks not just to erase the line between our media-saturated world of film and television and high art, but to blow it to smithereens. That doesn't mean he isn't thoughtful and thought provoking: Inventive composition and technical mastery inform all his pieces, whether videos or large-format photographs. Inspired by Doug Aitken, Matthew Barney's early work, and filmmakers such as John Carpenter and John Waters, Breuning has learned both how to get a laugh (and a scream) and to plumb the deeper human comedy (and horror).
Published by Hatje Cantz Publishers. Essays by Christopher Doswald, Gianni Jetzer, Markus Stegmann, Dorothea Strauss, Philip Vergne.
Films, television, advertising, video clips, and computer games--all are fair game and useful material for Swiss artist Olaf Breuning. In his photographs, videos, and installations, Breuning engages with the reality of the vast array of media that surround us incessantly, day in and day out, appropriating narratives, images, and characters to create unforgettable and eerily familiar hybrids. Through unlikely medleys that juxtapose such disparate elements as the accoutrements of occultism, new-age fads, and vampire films, mixing together disgust, sweetness, kitsch, horror, levity, and gravity, Breuning shows that nothing is too sacred or profane to warrant inclusion in one of his playful, weirdly subtle compositions.