Oliver Krisch, born in Venezuela in 1977, has been a photographer since a teenager, inspired by his uncle Pablo Krisch, one of Venezuela’s best known industrial photographers and winner of National Photography Prize 2015. Together they extensively travelled around Venezuela taking images of landscapes and oil refinaries. Krisch also studied photography with Luis Brito a renowned Venezuelan photographer also winner of the National Photography Prize and creator of outstanding portraits.
Before moving to California in 2006, he exhibited his work at the National Gallery of Caracas and Museo Mario Abreu in Maracay, and his images were published in significant magazines such as Ocean Drive and Complot. While in Venezuela Krisch primarily focused on commercial and documentary photography but when he moved to Los Angeles his work started to move away from these styles and Krisch started to experiment with the depiction of objects and with the digital manipulation of images.
In 2007 Krisch won an honorable mention at the MOLAA Awards, a juried art competition held at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California. The winner piece, Reggaeton (Nuevo Pop Latino), appropriates the style of pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein to present a multiple image of a commercial product that contains a commentary on the socio-economical issues that many Latin American immigrants face in the United States.
Krisch’s works are characterized by their irony; he usually plays with the double meaning of objects and words, either in English or Spanish, to create pieces that contain a highly conceptual message. In several of his photographs he also shows a pursue of themes of cultural identity, with a special focus not only in the minorities living in the United States but also in identity issues related to his own Venezuelan heritage, including series of works that deal with santeria (a syncretic religion that fuses catholicism with African believes).
The aesthetics of his works combine classical photographic techniques, in terms of light and composition, with other elements often linked to poor taste; Krisch’s images are usually filled with kitsch elements such as Baroque frames, decorative objects and busy and cheap-looking backdrops. However, in some series he has also shown an interest in experimenting with some characteristics of pop art incorporating loud colors and paneled portraits to his pieces. The resulting works of art combine social issues with a conceptual, ironical and kitsch style.
Oliver Krisch has exhibited his works in Miami, Scottsdale, New York, San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Caracas (Venezuela), among other cities, and he is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, and the National Museum of Catholic Art and History in New York. Since 2008 Krisch lives and works in New York City.
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