Introducing For Love or Money: First Up, Brian by Olaf Breuning


When examining a new piece of art, we often wonder: did the person behind the work create it for the love of the craft or the money from the sale?

In the current economy, when DAMIEN HIRST is claiming that greed is good and even street artists are being called out for work that is too commercial, this question feels increasingly relevant.

Our first case study after the jump.

We remember Swiss-born New York-based artist OLAF BREUNING from the 2008 WHITNEY BIENNIAL, so when we saw this image on Vulture, we didn’t have their same automatic gag reflex — it was more like, “Oh, that wacky Olaf.”

Breuning has said that he gets his giggles from straddling the line between humor and pain — not bringing in the benjamins — and this grotesque portrait of his best friend BRIAN KERSTETTER is visual proof.

Plus, we’re having a tough time envisioning the person who would want to buy a piece of fine art that incorporates Crocs — granted, once upon a time we would have said the same thing about a dead calf.

The verdict: We’re going to go with love of the craft — but possibly not of his best friend.