FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
World Pemiere Exhibition
Fall by internationally acclaimed Dutch Contemporary Artist Erwin Olaf
November 27th - December 27th, 2008
Back in Hong Kong after a four years absence, Erwin Olaf is exhibiting for the first time in a commercial space, after a preview at The Hague's National Museum of Photography, his brand new series Fall.
Erwin Olaf will be in Hong Kong from November 25th until November 29th and will be available for interviews. For Interview booking and/or high res images please call Herman on 212 29 657 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About ERWIN OLAF
Erwin Olaf (born 1952 in The Netherlands), one of the best know and most over-the-top Dutch photographers of today (think David LaChapelle crossed with Playboy) lives a passionate, lusty affair with life, enjoying it to the fullest extent, a true gastronome of the art of living. His oeuvre stands as a manifestation of this very passion and of his very genuine engagement with his subjects. Over the last 25 years, he has evolved from a photographer who captures reality to a director who creates it; either way, the depicted reality is one filled with humor, imagination, sexuality, and exuberance, raising issues of freedom, beauty, loneliness, and difference. A master who can generate his own, perverse world through autonomous photographic series, grandiose parties, and film projects alike, he is also hypercritical, an artist from whom nothing escapes.
Over the years many of Olaf's works -from his unabashed portraiture and intense symbolism to the unflichning gaze in his blood-drenched images of staged violence -have provoked controversy. Not surprisingly, this ability to attract attention has seen his work embraced by the advertising world, resulting in commercials for Lavazza, BMW, Microsoft and Nintendo, among many others. Lately Olaf is frequently shooting in commission for magazines such as the New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Elle and Citizen K.
Last month Erwin Olaf was awarded in New York the prestigious Lucie Award for Achievement in Advertising. In 1999 his worldwide campaign for Diesel Jeans won him the coveted Silver Lion at the Frestival for Advertising in Cannes. He was awarded the same prize two years laterfor his imagery produced for Heineken. Among numerous other international art and media prizes, in 2006 he was awarded Photographer of the Year in the International Color Awards. In 2007 Kunstbeeld Magazine chose him as Artist of the Year of the Netherlands.
An accepted truism is that a great portrait photograph captures a fleeting moment of perfection and reveals honesty in the eyes of the sitter. In inimitable style, Erwin Olaf turns the tables on this concept in his recent series Fall (2008), in which he combines awkward portraits of young models with still-life images of foliage in painted vases. The plants are pert and spiky, the models droopy and unfocussed, their eyes partly closed. These are not the cute and perky teenagers of Benetton ads, dressed in rainbow-hued knitwear. Instead Olaf uses the palette of post-war austerity - washed-out colours in the natural hues of cork, straw, marble, teak and terracotta. The five female and five male models are draped in skin-toned clothes. Wearing tan and pale pink, Olaf's models seem nude, though their emotions are camouflaged.
"I was intrigued by the idea of a portrait in which something is out-of-sync," explains Erwin Olaf. "It became a new type of sexy, to photograph a beautiful model blinking at the wrong moment, using a camera angle that is slightly wrong. It is disturbing to see this incorrect fraction of a second frozen in a portrait. Yet with the still-lifes, there is a timeless aspect, since I could make tiny changes during the shoot, moving the plants a little bit to the left or to the right. When the portraits are seen on their own, they seem restless, but when they are placed next to the plants, they gain a more relaxed attitude."
Fall by internationally acclaimed Dutch Contemporary Artist Erwin OlafPress Release as pdf-File 114 KB