Visit the portfolio of Erwin Olaf at http://www.erwinolaf.com.
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Born in Hilversum in the Netherlands in 1959, Erwin Olaf lives and works in Amsterdam since the early 80's. His current studio is situated in a former church hall.
Mixing photojournalism with studio photography, Olaf emerged in the international art scene in 1988 when his series 'Chessmen' was awarded the first prize in the Young European Photographer competition. This award was followed by an exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany. Since then Olaf has continued to explore issues of gender, sensuality, humor, despair and grace in each successive series.
Printing his early work in documentary style black-and-white, he first gradually introduced color and then digital manipulation. There is great contrast between each series. Mature (1999): golden-hued portraits of elderly women in the poses of kittenish supermodels; Fashion Victims (2000): a lewd commentary on the consumerism of sex and designer labels; Royal Blood (2000): minimalist white-on-white portraits, depicting the vengeful nature of members of the aristocracy who have suffered unsavory deaths; Paradise (2001): picturing a dark and baroque underworld of gleeful clowning and lunacy; Separation (2003) portraying an ice cold and introverted family in a sterile living room. In his four most recent series Rain, Hope, Grief and Fall, Erwin Olaf returns to classic imagery with minimal computer retouching.