Harold Olejarz (USA)

Harold Olejarz

Issues of identity and expression are explored in Head Shots, a series of self-portraits about personal emotional states. In these images my highly expressive facial “poses” are grossly distorted to heighten the natural expressive quality of the face. These distorted self-portraits are both disturbing and appealing. Viewers are both attracted and repelled by the distorted image.

The digital images have grown out of my deep interest in technology, but my previous work as a performance artist is also a factor. In 1985, while I was working on a static figure sculpture, I realized that if I could put myself into my sculpture and make a sculpture that I wore, I could install my sculpture anywhere. This was the start of a performance art project that grew
and developed over the next seven years. Self-Installation, MOMA, documents a museum self-installation. The museum self-installations were unannounced visits that I made to a museum wearing my sculpture. I would walk into a museum wearing a sculpture and purchase an admission ticket. Once in the museum, I would install myself in a gallery and interact with the art on exhibit.

In my recent digital images, I recapture the excitement of an unpredictable interactive street performance by treating a flat-bed scanner as though it were a stage on which I perform. I am continually surprised and excited by the way the scanner and computer “see” my performance.

Harold Olejarz participates in

  • Le Musee divisioniste – the global museum
  • Mirror at the Bottom – artists portraying themselves
    curated by Agricola de Cologne