From press release:
20 Years Retrospective exhibited at the Oriente Foundation (Fundacao Oriente) in Macao will include:
In his earlier work on the subject of social exclusion Olaf was deliberately disturbing with the intention of raising awareness and he was dedicated towards exploring issues of class, race, sexual taste, beliefs, habits and grace. In the series Rain (2004), Hope (2005), Grief (2007) and Fall (2008) Olaf challenges the notion of domestic bliss. Dusk (2009) and Dawn (2010) show how culture can become repression, despite a beautiful appearance. A similar disengagement takes place in Olaf's Hotel (2010) series in which he explores the subtle range of detached melancholic emotions in dimly-lit exquisitely furnished timeless hotel rooms.
March 26 – April 27, 2015
ORIENTE FOUNDATION: Praça Luís de Camões, 13, Macau. Tel. www.foriente.pt
ERWIN OLAF’S STYLE
Mixing photojournalism with studio photography, Olaf emerged on the international art scene in 1988, when his series Chessmen was awarded the first prize in the Young European Photographer competition. This award was followed by an exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany in the same year. Erwin Olaf's art implicitly visualises the unspoken, the overlooked, that which typically resists easy documentation. Olaf's trademark is to address social issues, taboos and bourgeois conventions within the framework of a highly stylised and cunning mode of imagery. By providing scenic and striking design, along with the utmost perfect composition in his typical, immaculate 'OWN' style, combined with his passion for conceiving flawless scenarios, he vividly captures the essence of contemporary life.
ADVERTISING AND CONTEMPORARY ART STAR
Olaf's visually sophisticated and conceptually provocative style has been embraced by both the editorial and advertising world. In 2010 Louis Vuitton commissioned Olaf for a portrait series in collaboration with the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. In 2012 Olaf shot the campaign for luxury fashion brand Bottega Veneta. Because of both his unique way of expressing and staging a (fashion) brand's vision and the overall embracement of his work he gets commissioned and published by several leading magazines such as: Vogue Netherlands, Grey magazine, Jalouse Magazine, New York Times and many others. He also won numerous other international art and media awards, such as Photographer of the Year in the International Colour Awards in 2006. In 2008 he received a Lucie Award from the United States of America for his achievements in photography. In 2011 he won the prestigious Dutch State price of the Arts, the Johannes Vermeer Award. The jury selected him because of the high quality of his entire body of work.