Olaf Breuning (born 1970) is a Swiss-born artist now living in New York.
Breuning squirreled away popular culture references that he would later effectively employ in his pieces. He absorbed the music of Talking Heads, Eurythmics and Grace Jones; the photography of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Jeff Wall and Cindy Sherman; and the sculpture of Jeff Koons. He cites as influences everything from sci-fi to horror via Vikings and haunted houses. His photographs, installations, and films feature a recurring vocabulary; face-painting, eyeballs attached to inanimate objects, long cheap wigs, naked breasts or direct movie allusions.
Breuning’s most recent showcase was in March at the Whitney Biennale in New York. He took inspirations from one of the exhibition buildings, the 18th century Upper East Side Armory for an installation called The Army, thirty miniature metal soldiers with identical spherical bodies and different heads resemble sci-fi robots marching as to war. “I thought it would be funny to do something with the idea of military, especially because I knew I would be exhibiting in an old armory building, ” says Breuning. “I decided to make this army with the same bodies but different heads, which I thought was amusing because an army with different heads cannot function” (Wonderland Magazine, 2008).
In October 2008, Breuning had his third solo show at Metro Pictures Gallery, New York.
Have a look at Olaf’s work at his site olafbreuning.com or his gallery at metropicturesgallery.com. And for a bit more info on Olaf, take a look at his interview on artnet.com.