Commingling reality and illusion, authenticity and artifice, barbarism and civility, Olaf Breuning creates photographs, films, sculptures, and installations that draw heavily from popular culture and a collective visual iconography. He combines these contemporary aesthetics with more primal, shared drives: violence, sexuality, ritual, and companionship. The divergent impulses collide, often with absurd and hilarious results, as Breuning exploits the thin line between humor and pain.
Olaf Breuning was born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland in 1970 and currently lives and works in New York, USA. Breuning studied professional photography in Zurich, Switzerland and went on to complete postgraduate studies in photography at the HSFG Zurich. Breuning has received multiple awards and grants, including the Manor-Kunstpreis, Schaffhausen in 2000; and the Kiefer-Hablitzel Stipendum in 2000 and 1999 and the Moet-Chandon Stipendium and the Altelierstipendium New York, Stadt Zurich in 1999.
Breuning has had solo exhibitions in Metro Pictures, New York; Conduits Gallery, Milan, Italy; Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Australia; Galerie Air de Paris, France; Swiss Institute, New York; Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Mexico City; and Centre D’art Contemporain, Geneva.