Erwin Olaf: Grief - Sarah

Body of Review:

What could be a perfect way to capture human grieving…but through the other side of Erwin Olaf's lenses.  His deep interpretation and grasp of melancholy exposes what that really can mean.  Another one of his controversial yet fashion-savvy works, this Grief portrait comes with the power of captivating that feeling of loneliness from inside and turning it into a spectacular shot…always intriguing, always beautiful, all at once.  It's like the perfect picture for a modern-day Grimm's fairy tale.

If you take a closer look at the subjects of Erwin's models in these series of modern photographs, you'll see how perfect they are in their sophisticated composure.  The crux?  There's no such thing as perfect and no matter if you’re rich or poor…grief comes to all.  In this portrait, you can see a woman staring blankly at her untouched food, as if waiting for someone who'll never come home.  First glimpse and this reminds me of the "Desperate Housewives" TV series.  Is he waiting for him to come home?  Is he even alive?  Is her partner having an affair? Is there a weighty decision looming? Or is this photo just capturing the human emotion of depression that can exist for no reason at all other than the simple reason of being a human body filled with neuro chemicals.  We'll never know, for sure.

A subtle metaphor?  Erwin's use of modern interiors in this Grief portrait is like a metaphor for the feeling of emptiness one feels when grieving.  Notice the play of light and shade on the model's face and you'll see that expression of sadness stamped, as if you're standing in the very same room.  As they say, things that makes one happy can easily be taken away and when that time comes, you can only ask yourself until when you can persist – which I believe is the moral of the story of this stunning modern art.

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