exhibition Erwin Olaf – Choreography of Emotions

Exhibition of Dutch photographer Erwin  Olaf is an opportunity for me to get acquainted with the most interesting and controversial  photo works.

Erwin Olaf  is Trained as a journalist, advertising photographer and artist, he masterfully combines the world of high art mainstream. The brave and often perverse way of taking the game as a spectator and consumer exhibitions advertised product.

In his artistic projects  he speaks of extreme emotions, sexuality, the artificiality of the world but does not run away from humor and grotesque. His works are characterized by a refined elegance and pragmatism, for each cycle creates intricate set designs, Models are more actors in Erwin performances

The exhibition in Gdansk I saw four cycles of photographic and video works from the years 1990-2009 Blacks, Grief and Dusk and Dawn. The oldest of them Blacks shows the male and female portraits with elements act decorated in the style of Mannerist allegory. Erwin works are humorous, they carry nudity and sensuality to rank higher feelings. Fancy titles, names portrayed characters refer to the tendency of the body or the spirit, including Liebeswan (obsessive love) and Desire (Desire). Portraits are broken by a dark form, all portraits are painted in monochrome black and the characters have hidden eye, which enhances the mood of anxiety.


Dusk-The-Mother520-1000x533 Dawn-The-Mother514-1000x533 Erwin_Olaf_-_TROY_Grief-1000x562

Cycles Dusk (Twilight) and Dawn (Dawn) inspired by the east and west. Dusk in particular refers to the work of Frances Benjamin Johnston, one of the first in the world photographers –  women, who in the years 1899-1900 created portraits of dark-skinned students Hampton Institute in Virginia.

Dawn, shows the same scene, this time set in Russia at the same time historically. The artist used white as the dominant color and the form of portraits and still lifes described the obvious world of the past. In this way, the two cycles create their reflection, referring to the visual form of analogue photography negative and positive. Introduction to both cycles are melancholy

The exhibition of Erwin Olaf photography , for mi it is a  record  choreography of emotions . Skillfully, professionally planned gestures and facial expressions for the moments of intimate, personal life, survive. it seems that the characters are alone in the room but at the same time they look us in the eye.


Erwin Olaf (born Erwin Olaf Springveld on June 2, 1959, Hilversum, Netherlands)

Olaf is most famous for his commercial and personal work. He has been commissioned to photograph advertising campaigns for large international companies such as Levi’s, Microsoft and Nokia. Some of his most famous photographic series include “Grief”, “Rain”, and “Royal Blood” has received many awardsand he has held exhibitions around the world.



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