Erwin Olaf: The Ice Cream Parlor (Rain Series, 2004

Body of Review:

Inspired by the classic decade of the 50's, Erwin Olaf's The Ice Cream Parlor is more than just a testament of that age.  Amidst aformica and vinyl setting, this Lambda print is another one of the popular Rain series which the artist has self-published.  Here, Erwin carefully manipulates colors to blend a classic form of melodrama, as if the photograph itself is a comic strip where the young boy poses in an almost surreal state.  If you look closely at the details, you'll see that this photo is hiding a compelling story waiting to be told.

What makes the young boy scout look so sad?  I can never really tell.  Erwin might have taken this shot as a symbolic reminder that there's nothing graver than childhood's innocence lost.  Just take a look at the open wound on the model's left knee and the dripping ice cream he holds - it's as if these things doesn't even bother him at all and that's a pretty peculiar behavior for a young child. 

Or is it the ‘ice cream cone’ innocence of a boy scout…knowingly or unknowingly preparing to be a soldier…and the open wound just a pretense of a future battle. 

Or maybe some other circumstance that conveys the young boys 'lost’ emotion.  As they say, a picture can paint a thousand words and there are surely a lot of versions to this story.  Whatever it is, it's for you to imagine.

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