Olaf Breuning‘s The Art Freaks, is a group of color photographs transposing the signature styles of seminal 20th-century artists into prosaic body painting. If the manners in which Breuning’s subjects have been painted are not immediately identifiable, then titles like Andy, Frieda, and Piet confirm their references. Stemming from the artist’s recent investigation into his idiosyncratic relationship with modern and contemporary art, the larger than life-sized prints of elaborately painted bodies, which comprise The Art Freaks, conflate the tropes of so-called high and low artistic techniques as they discuss notions of kitsch, cliché, and reproduction.
As Breuning humorously attempts to imitate Takashi Murakami’s character Kiki (Takashi ) or the mounting release of Edvard Munch’s The Scream (1893) in Edvard (2011), he also mimics street performers who paint their bodies to transform into unique characters for the amusement, and pocket money, of passers-by; a tantamount treatment of craft, medium, and cultural signifiers that pervades Breuning’s multifarious oeuvre. Whether through his drawings, sculptures, or well-known website, the specific brand of pastiche Breuning employs in his work is a decidedly indiscriminate one that draws on everything from the Easter Bunny to Andy Warhol’s Marilyns.
Both humorous and uncanny, The Art Freaks not only questions our relationship to the enduring artworks Breuning choses to reference in his series, but also to the reproductions and consumable patina through which most of us experience these artists’ works and their distinctive aesthetics. (via davids sketchbook)
If you want to see more work by Olaf Breuning we recommend Beautiful/Decay Magazine Issue: Y which includes a very nice feature on the artist.