Bernie Madoff's Slippers On Auction Vs. Filippa K's Slippers On Father's Day Sale, Both Pictured In The November 5, 2010 Issue Of Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, 2011
Ink on Paper/ Collage
97,5 x 166 cm
Olav Westphalen is "an artist who always works humorously, but who rarely stops at the fun". Behind the funny surface, he always hides uncomfortable revelations that show blind spots in a context in which we thought we were safe. Westphalen plays with the concept of being an insider or outsider, being able to laugh from the outside until you realize that you yourself are part of the group he runs with.
Olav Westphalen moves on both sides of the border between popular culture and fine culture, and strategically uses stylistic means and references from commercial contexts and the comic world to undermine conventional images. His heroes soon become our everyday anti-heroes, the pathos of art falling flat in the revealing ridicule. But somewhere where the liberating laugh kicks in ... Westphalen's work is characterized by the use of various media and techniques and includes drawing, painting, sculpture and performance. In "Representation and the Body" he presents a sculpture that shows us the naked truth, and two great drawings that talk about our need for and longing for luxury consumption.
Olav Westphalen was born in 1963 in Hamburg (Germany) and studied at FH Hamburg (for Stephan von Huene) and at the University of California, San Diego (for Allan Kaprow). Today he lives and works in Stockholm, where he is a professor at Kungl. Art Academy. His works have been exhibited at Whitney Museum, ICA London, Swiss Institute NY, Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Brandenburgischer Kunstverein (Potsdam) and Museum Fridericianum (Kassel), and are represented in collections such as the Dallas Museum, Center Pompidou, Modern Museum and MoMA (New York).