The genesis of photographer Frank Ockenfels 3’s creativity is “collision, collusion, and collaboration,” explains the press release for the artist’s new book, Volume 3 (teNeues, 2019). The images in Volume 3 follow in the footsteps of the work for which Okenfels 3 is renowned: portraiture that incorporates non-photographic elements. After being subjected to ink, collage, text, or paint, his portraits become a new form, often communicating a sense of disquiet and chaos, yet still managing to be aesthetically pleasing. As a whole Volume 3‘s images –– “a volatile mix of energy and imagery with dark traces” –– equal what Ockenfels 3 considers a journal reflecting his “daily encounters in the creative world.”
Ockenfels 3’s reconstructed images often convey something more powerful than the original image alone. With the emotions of the maker imbued in each tear, stroke and sketch, the works also provides a window into Ockenfels 3’s mind and become a personal statement of how he sees the world. The dark yet vibrant images make it clear that Ockenfels 3 is not afraid to leave the imprint of his psyche on his work.
Portraits of personalities such as Spike Lee, David Bowie, and David Lynch, as well as models like Milla Jovovich, “Amanda,” and “Viktoria,” are molded into new objects that seem to live at the intersection of dream, fantasy and art. “The erotic, the sublime, and the violent collages are blended with portraiture that seamlessly complement each other,” affirms teNeues in the release.
With the publication of Volume 3, Ockenfels 3’s work has been in demand for over three decades. Don’t they say good things come in threes?
By Frank Ockenfels 3