The East German artist Olaf Martens (born 1963 in Halle, Germany) is interested in staging his pictures like a theatre play. In his often humorously constructed images, Martens combines a take on fashion, documentary, conceptual, social, and even animal photography and art historical and socio-political references. His work cannot be categorised but is a combination of what can be termed a kind of post-modern eclecticism.
Martens undermines the seemingly homogenous facade of the photographic. His works is characterised by uniting contrary details, and refiguring them in a very unique and hybrid manner. This leaves many questions to the viewer, not apparent on first glance.
Olaf Martens studied photography at the highly renowned Leipzig Academy for "Graphik und Buchkunst". His contemporaries are the well-known "Leipzig School" with artists such as Neo Rauch, Tim Eitel or Tilo Baumgärtel.
His work has been exhibited in many museum group exhibitions on contemporary German photography as well as in solo exhibitions at the Kunst Museum Bonn, Grassi Museum Leipzig, Moscow House of photography, Leopold Museum Vienna, German Historical Museum in Berlin, to name but a few. He has exhibited in galleries nationally and internationally. He is represented by Galerie f5,6. His work is included in collections such as the FC Gundlach Collection and the Sammlung Goetz, Munich.
His work has appeared in Frankfurter Allgemeine Magazin, Der Spiegel, Art and Stern, Harpers Bazaar Russia and many more. He has published five books on his work.