Frank Ockenfels 3

Frank Ockenfels

That rules do not have a place in photography is part of Frank Ockenfels’ working philosophy. Decades spent harnessing his feverish imagination as a photographer and director have resulted in a wealth of fantastic imagery that, by his own intention, defies any one style. Recognised as one of the world’s leading portrait photographers, Ockenfels’ work is regularly seen in magazines such as Time, New York Magazine and Rolling Stone. His work has crossed over into every category; he has photographed countless TV advertising campaigns, and has shot for shows such as Mad Men, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy and House of Cards. Ockenfels has also shot major movie posters for the likes of Harry Potter, Thor, 50 Shades of Grey and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Ockenfels’ unorthodox philosophy permeates his entire process, from his tactile experimentation in his journals, to his eclectic collection of lenses – often embracing their defects as points of difference in his work -- to the range of personalities he captures, including actors, musicians, politicians and athletes. Ockenfels unsettles the typical notion of the iconic portrait photographer whose style is instantly recognisable. His work exists on a spectrum that is entirely his own making, often bouncing from the eerie depths of surrealism to the hazy glow of Hollywood glamour in one sitting.

Frank Ockenfels
While Ockenfels’ oeuvre is diverse, his portraits are united by their creator’s audacity. Among his list of high profile subjects (Barack Obama, David Bowie, Hilary Clinton and George Clooney), Ockenfels’ style is both unexpected and provoking, he approaches each subject with the same respect, along with the intent to create images that are well crafted, sometimes beautiful, sometimes bizarre, but never boring. Combined with his belief in collaborating and his skills in adapting to difficult situations (something he takes relish in), Ockenfels’ exhibition transforms our perspective on faces and places we’ve all seen before.
Frank Ockenfels
  • Organised by: Black Eye Gallery
  • Contact name: Katherine Bennett

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Images from the 57th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year, run by the Natural History Museum in London, are now on display in an exhibition at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.


'Return to nature' includes key works from MGA’s significant collection of Australian photographs, featuring the work of over 40 photographers.


Come and make your own nature inspired cyanotype photogram printed tote bag.