His childish sketches and his colourful installations hide an unexpected seriousness. Grotesque and humorous, cool and thoughtful, Olaf Breuning is one of the most successful Swiss artists, educated in Zurich, living in New York. Using any necessary means, sculpting, photographing, painting or filming, he explores the human existence and life.
What was that attracted at first your attention to photography?
Pure coincidence. My father gave me a camera when I was a teenager. I am happy he did not give me a knife otherwise I would be a butcher today.
Dο you think that your studies in photography have affected your revolution as an artist as well as the way that you explore other forms of art?
I could also have studied painting or sculpture or whatever; Ι think the most important result of studying was to be forced to care about art history and speak about your own work with other students and teachers. Just to collect a lot of experience.
Do you believe that living and studying in Zurich was important for you and your work?
It was definitely a very interesting experience. I had a lot of freedom and structure at the same time. When Ι see art schools here in USA I am happy that had the chance to study in Switzerland. It was less conservative, more open to new things.
Tell us a few words about your collaboration with Beck concerning beck.comand the ‘IDIOTS’ T-shirt.
He likes my work and his management asked me if he can publish some of my work on his homepage. And we also printed a t-shirt with a drawing of mine. I always liked his music so, Ι was happy to do that.
Interview: Eleni Malami / Photography: Ruby Sky Stiler