05.02 - 09.02.2020
Nils Stærk is proud to announce that we will be participating in Zona Maco 2020 with the solo presentation 'Sad and Worried Animals' by Olaf Breuning.
Evolution took hundreds of millions of years to create life and all living creatures on our planet. While we as humans are a rather recent addition to it all, actually we had no relevance to nature or other living organisms for several hundreds of thousands of years. It’s only been about 10.000 years since we started to change the environement around us. We created infrastructures for communities but without influencing the surrounding nature. But when the industrialization came – it all changed! We changed the global environement, burned stuff and dug deep into the ground. Without being aware of the negative consequences it would one day have. Now the day has come! We are at a point, where we have to be worried about our future and not only worried, but also in the need to take action. We sudently became our own biggest threat! With our incredible knowledge and advanced technology, we are slowly destroying our planet and the living creatures around us. 
The thought of our profound influence on our planet and living creatures became my motivation to create this body of work. What if animals had an awareness about what is happening to their surroundings? What if they could understand the consequences? I believe they would be very sad and worried about our human stupidity. With this in mind I created a series of animals, carved in stone at Ceramica Suro in Guadalajara with large colorful glass eyes that look up to us with a sad mouth, waiting for bad things to happen. 
There was time, where we respected nature and living creature’s natural habitats. This changed when humans began cultivating the land and dominating the planet with our innovative innovations and we developed another relationship to animals. We either eat them, place them in a zoo for our amusement or treat them as pets. We are the dominating species on the planet, or on our planet as we tend to call it. We will eventually decide the fate of all the others and the animals will become the victims of the human race. 


At first sight, Swiss artist Olaf Breuning’s humoristic self-irony may appear simplified and accessible. But when we enter into his imagery, we discover that it is rather more complex. This new series of stone sculptures Sad and Worried Animals is no exception. In collaboration with Ceramica Suro in Guadalajara in Mexico, Breuning has given wild animals a sad worried expression as if they were aware of how we as humans are destroying the planet. With a fascination in peruvian soapstone animals and their ability to emit a calming energy, stimulating one to release old habits for new loving environments, Breuning has created a series of animals in a naïve expression in varies types of stones and with colorful staring glass eyes.

In combination with the simple style of the works it reminds us that art contains the freedom to interact, combine and create out of everything available to the imagination. Breuning’s works are full of invitations to freely interact with the stories initiated by the works, which balance between being the product of a carefree childlike attitude and that of a cynical dark humor.

Olaf Breuning (b.1970) is educated from Zürich University of the Arts and lives and works in New York, USA. Since the beginning of his career Breuning has worked with a wide range of media from drawings to photography, film production and sculptures in media from ceramic, to steel, marble, wood and stone. Most recent institutional exhibitions include: Cass Sculpture Fuondation, NRW-Forum, Düsseldorf, Kunsthall Stavanger, Haifa Museum of Art, Zentrum Paul Klee, Palais de Tokyo and Kunstmuseum Luzern. His works are represented in public collections such as the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Kunsthall Hamburg, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporaine among others.