Olaf RAUH - Playgrounds
Galerie Richard, New York, presents the first exhibition of the German artist Olaf Rauh in the United States by resuming the first exhibition of the artist in Paris, the famous series “Playgrounds” originating from New York City.
Olaf Rauh, born in 1968 in Leipzig, announces the new generation of German photographers. He radically detaches himself from the quest for objectivity, neutrality, and any documentary aspect, perhaps, in fine, to better reveal the artifices of reality.
Multimedia artist, Olaf Rauh today favors the photographic medium. His photographic research is close to that of a painter, by his sensitivity to the material and by a formal plastic research which, at first glance, transgresses and transcends any concern for objectivity. It would in fact be fairer to bring Olaf Rauh closer to the painters Dan Hays, Carl Fudge, Benjamin Edwards, Alex Brown… Olaf Rauh deconstructs reality, deconstructs it through new digital technologies and recreates it in a form of balance precarious between the figurative and the abstract. It fully integrates the visual and above all mental revolution in our perception of the world brought about by new technologies.
Olaf Rauh works with a special film that freezes the surface under a plastic layer. He then endeavors to make us perceive all the fine grid structures that make up a computer screen by taking a photograph of the screen with a camera for large formats. The image obtained, disassembled and reassembled in pixels like a mathematical construction presents blurs, colors, new, unprecedented geometric structures.
In his photographic cycle Playgrounds of twelve photographs, Olaf Rauh shows playgrounds for children in an urban setting. He makes us capture precisely the colorimetric difference between the very bright saturated colors used in these playful architectures and the grayness of the urban environment. Everyone is free to wonder about this visual contrast that delimits two universes. Why is the world of games, whether for children or for adults (Las Vegas, game shows), adorned with flamboyant colors and the urban world, the world of work, with more neutral colors? and grey?
“In the works of Olaf Rauh photography has lost its last innocence; the aura of authenticity faded. The artist reacts to the optical implantations of media culture with their manipulated images (1)”.
(1) Andreas Höll: Sandplay – Homo ludens and the formatted world. Annotations to the photographic cycle Playgrounds by Olaf Rauh 2001/2002; exhibition catalog