Fotografiska Tallinn celebrates its third birthday

Fotografiska opens a boundary-pushing exhibition of an American photographer on its third birthday.

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Fotografiska Tallinn

© Frank Ockenfels 3, David Bowie and the Mannequin 2000, Courtesy Fahey Klein Gallery

On Friday, 17 June Fotografiska Tallinn celebrates its third birthday with the opening of an extensive exhibition by the American photographer Frank Ockenfels 3. The exhibition introduces viewers to the work of the colourful artist, created during his three decades long career. Ockenfels often seeks out that which deviates from the norm, from the expected or the obvious. At the opening night, at 23.00 the artist gives a guided tour of the exhibition to the public.

© Frank Ockenfels 3, George Clooney 2005, Courtesy Fahey Klein Gallery

Frank Ockenfels (b 1960) is a photographer, artist, and director, best known for his portraits. For more than three decades, he has captured actors, musicians, and Hollywood-profiles with his camera, such as Nirvana, David Bowie, David Lynch, Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Natalie Portman and many others.

The exhibition is divided into different sections, where we get to follow Frank Ockenfels 3’s development as an artist through his whole career. From the simplicity in a portrait, via the exploration of the female body’s shapes, to a selection of images from his nine-year-long collaboration with David Bowie and other musicians. By applying several different techniques – such as photography, painting, and collage – and experimenting with light, optics, and different kinds of cameras, Ockenfels is always trying to stretch the limits of what a photography or artwork can be. His sometimes-rough treatment of the photographs – where he goes at them with, for example, scissors, ink, and charcoal – transforms them from portraits of individual people to also reflect himself and his inner worlds.


© Frank Ockenfels 3, IGGY! 2003, Courtesy Fahey Klein Gallery

Maarja Loorents, the Exhibition Manager at Fotografiska Tallinn: “Frank Ockenfels 3 is an artist who dares to experiment and often uses our beloved icons and celebrities to do so, which sometimes can be shocking to people. Looking at his photos, it is not immediately clear if you are looking at a painting, drawing, collage or something else and this is precisely what makes Frank's style so distinct and notable. This is the perfect exhibition to celebrate the third birthday of Fotografiska Tallinn.”

© Frank Ockenfels 3, Nirvana 1993, Courtesy Fahey Klein Gallery

“Three years is not a very long time, however, considering that this includes the first turbulent six months after we opened, when Fotografiska became the favourite meeting place for people, as well as the two years of interrupted programming due to the pandemic, we have matured faster than we would have expected. Each year has been like a marathon and each birthday has been very special, as Fotografiska is only supported by private capital. As a team, we are stronger today than ever and are making hopeful plans to inspire everyone with world-class photography and food,” said Margit Aasmäe, the Executive Director & Co-Founder at Fotografiska Tallinn.

© Frank Ockenfels 3, Milla 1997, Courtesy Fahey Klein Gallery

Fotografiska Tallinn opened in June 2019 as Fotografiska’s first branch outside Stockholm, however, by today Fotografiska has also opened in New York and in 2023 new locations in Berlin, Miami, Shanghai will be added. In 2022, the Fotografiska Restaurant received the Michelin Green Star. Owners of the Fotografiska membership card are granted free access to all Fotografiska's locations.

Frank Ockenfels 3's exhibition will be open until 9 October.

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