What is your favorite work of art by Banksy
RIZE: Olaf, how would you describe your work in your own words?
It wasn't spontaneous. All of my photographs are planned for a long time! I don't do anything spontaneously. Karl-Marx-Allee in Berlin on Alexanderplatz, one of the busiest streets, had to be closed for the picture. It was around ten o'clock in the morning. I organized the lamb at a farm outside of Berlin. Much of my work previously existed as a picture idea in my head. The picture of Bret Easton Ellis, the picture of Iggy Pop, the way I work is just like that… I form an image of the person I am photographing. At Iggy Pop, for example, I was asked to photograph an album cover. There was an album title and then I thought, “How do I see this person? Who is Iggy Pop to me? ”Then I looked back at his story, read a lot and looked at his career, from the Stooges to the time with David Bowie in Berlin to his solo works. He's been down on the ground every now and then during his career. Then he had another revival. For me he was like a boxer who goes down and gets up and keeps fighting. In addition, of course, there is the physique, its tough appearance. That's how I got this idea. I flew to Miami, where he lives, and photographed him at 5th Street Gym. Muhammad Ali used to train there. It was clear to me that I would like to portray Iggy as a boxer. But not so flat with a ring behind it and with boxing gloves, but in the style of a warrior. The picture took two minutes. The preparatory work, however, took weeks. Many of my pictures are like that. I usually have the ideas in my head, then I try to implement them. The really exciting thing is the creative process. Can I manage to implement this picture? As a photographer, I'm not a dictator, even if I like to direct. I don't force my ideas on anyone. I suggest them, I throw them around and the rest is a creative ping pong game where you shoot the ball back and forth. It evolves. And that's the actually nice process. The people who have known me long enough trust me and tell me "Okay, I'll take part" and then there are also people who say "Well, I don't feel that way right now, I don't think so!" Then you have to be willing to compromise. And that's actually the creative process involved in taking photos. I'm not someone who just goes out and pulls the camera from my hip, but I'm more like a director: I make things up and try to implement them.
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