Between Action and Reaction
Super star Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf talks to FotoTV about his prolific career and shares insight on the significant changes he has made throughout the years in order to evolve into the inspirational visual artist he is today.
Olaf is a studio photographer, who tends to photograph his own fantasies in a stylistic way, while creating beautiful poetic moods likened to a fairy tale, his own personal fairy tales. Olaf seems more like a film director than a pure photographer. Each photo looks like a film still, which makes sense, given Olaf’s own film background, with cinematic projects including "Rogue, Wet, and Spanking Clowns." It is clear a lot of his work is inspired by 1970-1980's European cinema. Films by directors David Lynch, Federico Fellini, and Almodovar are no doubt his idols. Somewhat a perfectionist, attention to detail is very important to Olaf, as he captures the inner life of people with meticulous accuracy while telling their stroies, but he leaves the story open so the audience can arrive to their own conclusion.
Even though he sees his work as a photographer as an expression of freedom and speech, it is the significant provocation in Olaf's earlier work, that has made him a name stay in the photography world, most notably his erotic photography work and his dark and moody campaign shot for Diesel jeans in the 1990's. Some of Olaf's work includes the highly noted, "Grief and Grief Portraits", the visually disturbing "Royal Blood", as well as "Fashion Victims and Chessmen."