Erwin Olaf: Grief (Series II - Barbara, 2007)

Body of Review:

Erwin Olaf's personal and commercial photographic works never fail to charm, even knowing they are sometimes commissioned for advertising campaigns like Heineken, Microsoft, Diesel Denim and more.  But let’s get to Erwin’s art.  Which is amazing.

In the recent Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair, this Dutch photographer has captured the subtlety in the series of his Grief portraits.  The sense of maturity combined with sensuality makes Erwin's works ever-so captivating.  It's as almost if you can truly feel the weight of the melancholy and depression in the room where Barbara sat.

If pictures can paint a thousand words, I guess, one can only guess whatever happened to make this lovely model look so dejected.  Did her guy leave her for someone else?  Or the death of a loved one?  Or the though of … ‘Here I am, 28 and a housewife, my life is over??’  Or maybe just that grief/depression, that for no reason other than chemical imbalance or life in what we call being human. 

We may never know the real reason, but Erwin absolutely captured that feeling of emptiness and that feeling of 'what will happen next?’  Erwin's modern photographs have perfectly captured those unwanted feelings that most of us don't want to be subjected or to remind of us of our own unhappiness.

Erwin's attention for details make this modern photograph an art of its own.  Just look at the model's pose, the somber color of the room.  This kind of attention to detail can only come from one of the great photographers of our era.  Amidst what seems to be a very clean and organized space comes the clutter that represents the chaos of raw human emotions – a perfect shot of that imperfect moment. 

The Genius Behind the Obra:

Erwin Olaf is a master of studio photography and photojournalism, where most of his works have made it into the international art scene as early as 1988.  Fearless, he always takes the risk and venture into daring, provocative and often controversial subjects in his creative works.  He also explored creative works in films.  Since the early 80's, he lives and works in Amsterdam.

Awards:    2008 – Lucie Awards, Advertising
        2006 – International Color Aawrds, First Place
        2005 – Photography Annual Award for Hairdresser's (Rain Series)
        2004 – AOP, Silver Award
        2003 – Paradise The Club, AOP
        2003 – Grote Paul
        2003 – Nicorette Advertising - Gold
        2001 & 1999 – Silver Lion, Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival
        1998 – Young European Photographers, First Prize