Erwin Olaf: Royal Blood (Series I, Julius Caesar, 2000)
Erwin Olaf may have created a lot of work for Art's sake, but time and again, he veers to his own interpretation of what dark reality may lie beneath masked beauty. As perfectly portrayed in his Royal Blood series, viewers are treated to the beauty and savagery of aristocracy, of fairytale stories that end in tragic deaths; all fodder for the ultimate irony in their bejeweled lives.
In his work, Julius Caesar, the vengeful act of betrayal is captured when he was stabbed at the back by his closest friend, Brutus. One of the crowd's favorites in the recent Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair, one can notice how the model in this portrait is rendered to look youthful...yet undead. There seems to be anger in the model's face. Was it the choice of color palette?
Perhaps, it's a message that no matter how untimely the death is of Gaius Julius Caesar, his legacy is immortalized and will be remembered in time. One can only surmise that this is Erwin's tribute to these famous leaders who have been murdered because of their status in life. Royal blood or not, there's always a saying that all good things come to an end...
And besides that...this piece of art is just simply dangerously cool with a brutal aesthetic meets beauty.
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