The explosive new developments in photography in the last decades have only increased its untold expressive power. In this new millennium, it alone is the primary vehicle of our modern consciousness. New photography, through its latest mechanisms and materials, seeks to discover and record not only our candid minutiae but something of the soul of contemporary society. Photography’s long-acknowledged power to mirror the face of the world has by no means been abandoned in Erwin Olaf’s exhibition, but now allows us to step through that mirror.
Olaf’s impeccably orchestrated sets achieve a level of aesthetic consistency precisely because he builds them all from floor to ceiling, creating perfect stages on which to enact moments of awkwardness, shame, or humiliation—the grievous emotions and impulses we might all wish to repress. To that end, his images appear both candid and supremely self-conscious, natural and posed at once; and though they have the clarity and naturalism achieved only by photography, in composition, tone, and gesture they have the mood of a painting.
Erwin Olaf (born in the Netherlands, 1959) is a Dutch photographer known for his highly stylized, daring, and often provocative work addressing social issues and taboos. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Johannes Vermeer Award (2011), a Lucie Award (2008), and Photographer of the Year in the International Color Awards (2006). His work is shown in museums and galleries around the world. Olaf also received a commission to design the new national side of the Dutch Euro, launched in 2013.
*Erwin Olaf is represented by Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, NYC @ www.hastedkraeutler.com
**Due to the mature nature of several images, it is advised that you be 18 years or older for proper viewing
Also, on Wednesday, December 10 there will be a Talk and Book Signing by Erwin Olaf at Aperture Gallery and Bookstore for Erwin Olaf’s new book: Volume II.