Masquerade: Olaf Hajek
Marcia Wood Gallery is delighted to announce the first Atlanta exhibition of Berlin artist, Olaf Hajek. One of Germany's most renowned illustrators, Hajek represents an emerging new breed of contemporary fine artists dissolving the boundaries between high and low and challenging the division between commercial and personal work. Hajek's acrylic paintings on paper are vividly fanciful renderings of strange and wondrous worlds full of magic and beauty. Accompanying the exhibition is the release of "Flowerhead" Hajek's first monograph by the publishers Gestalten Books.
Olaf Hajek draws inspiration from American folkart, Indian miniatures, African and Mexican art, mythology, religion, history and geography. More than anything else his work explores the opposition between imagination and reality in the context of western cultures. Recombining natural elements with human or realistic elements in a new surreal context full of wonder, heroic acts, hallucinations, and fairytale motifs, Hajek's work has an affinity with magic realism. Disproportional figures are often depicted posed in front of theatrical fore- and backgrounds, emphasizing the story-telling nature of Hajek's imagination. The "Flowerheads" are Hajek's focus of his personal fine art paintings, in which he is exploring the concept of identity with whimsy and poignance. The fruit, flowers, birds and humans morph together to create a new mysterious identity that cannot be fully revealed from behind it's mask and is suggestive of our desires and fantasies to be different creatures, not completely knowable, and separate from our daily identity.
Gestalten Books; " Olaf Hajek is one of the world’s most successful illustrators. His colorful work is infused with a folkloristic naivety and freshness and can be seen in publications such as The New York Times, in advertisements for companies such as Bacardi and even on postage stamps. Despite the diversity of his clientele, Hajek makes no aesthetic compromises. His characteristic style of “magic realism” is what makes his work appealing to a broad audience and range of clients. Flowerhead is Olaf Hajek’s first monograph. It presents an extensive collection of his commercial work as well as personal art that he created exclusively for the book."