Olaf Hajek: Precious
Olaf Hajek is something of an enigma. His breathtakingly lavish paintings are created in something like a fever, one on top of another, each painted more quickly than the last, shaping into ephemeral relics of Olaf’s own perception. We’re just here to catch the glimpses we can. For most of us that means experiencing them digitally or in the thin pages of magazines. Olaf’s current exhibition is a little staggering considering he has had a major show every one of the past few years and still more in the foreseeable future, allowing many to experience the work in person. But for those of us who can’t make it to Hamburg, Munich, Mallorca, or Johannesburg to get a look, we’ll finally be able to take a piece of Olaf’s most recent work home. This October Olaf’s new monograph ‘Olaf Hajek: Precious’ will publish.
The monograph includes paintings from an exhibition of the same name that showed at Anna Jill Lüpertz Gallery in Hamburg, and another show, ‘Jäger und Sammler,’ that showed in Munich. ‘Olaf Hajek: Precious’ is 112 pages of original work and includes essays by Oliver Hilmes and Taiye Selasi, and others.
‘Precious’ and ‘Hunters and Gatherers’ both played with Olaf’s favorite theme: the imperfection of beauty. “This is the main idea of my paintings,” explains Olaf. “I’m trying to disturb things a little bit. On one hand people think, ‘Oh it’s so beautiful,’ but then they look a little bit closer and then they see something more.” The detail that Olaf employs in his work is bracingly intricate, dragging you closer and closer into the story until you’re in a world you’d never thought to imagine before.
The images we've included in this post are not a representation of the contents of Olaf Hajek: Precious, but rather a sampling of his wider work.