L'Œil de la Photographie
June 16, 2021
Fotografiska Stockholm presents Introspection, the most extensive exhibition of work ever shown by artist Frank Ockenfels 3. A retrospective of Ockenfels’ decades-long career, Introspection will feature over 700 photographs, paintings, and personal collaged journals from his editorial, commercial and personal oeuvre, including 448 celebrity portraits. The exhibition premiered at Fotografiska Stockholm on June 4th, 2021 before traveling to Fotografiska Tallinn and New York in 2022.
Introspection includes a sampling of Frank Ockenfels 3’s most iconic portraits as well as newly produced, never-before-exhibited works, which incorporate skateboards, newspapers, and scrap-metal as the canvas for his paintbrush, pen and paint. The exhibition is divided into distinct sections, where the viewer can follow the artist’s development throughout his career.
“The exhibition represents my journey in trying to express what’s in my head. Looking beyond the norm or the obvious, creating with what I find in the moment, using light, optics or paint, cameras, brush and pen, I push the boundaries and see beyond. I have broken the exhibition into different sections which show how I’ve incorporated these techniques in my career as a visual artist. From the simplicity of the portrait and the female form, to select pieces from my 9-year collaboration with David Bowie and other musicians, everything is tied together with a selection of journals from over 30 years that mark time and illustrate my growth.” – Frank Ockenfels 3.
Ockenfels is best known for capturing raw portraits of celebrated actors, musicians and models, wherein the brightness of his subjects’ star power is juxtaposed by their slightly dark, twisted and tactile representations. The collection of work on view resembles an inkblot test of the artist’s psyche, providing an intimate look into his layered and multimedia image-making process.
By applying several techniques such as photography, painting, and collage, and experimenting with light, optics, and various cameras, Ockenfels stretches the limits of what a photograph or work of art can be. His sometimes rough treatment of his photographs – utilizing, for example, scissors, ink, or charcoal transforms portraits of individual people into reflections of himself and his inner worlds. The results are intimate and often provocative images which carry an inner beauty, diffuse and difficult to grasp. A distinguishing mark of Ockenfels is a visual world of suggestive works, where everything is a bit askew, but always created with elegance and presence.
Ockenfels has created hundreds of photographic works used for editorial spreads in top tier international publications, ad campaigns for global blue chips brands, and album covers for legendary musicians. After more than 30 years of creating art, Ockenfels is still on a journey of constant experimentation, following his own path and continuing the conversation between himself, the work, and the world around him.
Frank Ockenfels 3 : Introspection
June 4th – October 17th, 2021
116 45 Stockholm, Sweden