Photo Gallery

Erwin Olaf


Early 2006 starts well with a cover for The New York Times Magazine. Inside the magazine 3 other pictures are also published. A campaign for Tiger Beer has been shot for international usage.

Issue 16 (2/2006) • may 31, 2006 • wersja polska »»


Erwin Olaf

Erwin Olaf
photographer & filmmaker

1959 Born in Hilversum, The Netherlands.

1977 School for Journalism in Utrecht. He graduates in 1980 as a newspaper journalist with photojournalism as a subsidiary subject.

1980 Works in Amsterdam as assistant photographer to André Ruigrok, who teaches him photojournalism. First steps in 1981 as an independent photographer as a volunteer for the COC magazine Sek.

1983 Choreographer Hans van Manen brings him into contact with the work of Robert Mapplethorpe and Paul Blanca. Makes photographs for Jeugd en Samenleving (Youth and Society), the journal for workers in the welfare sector. Publishes photos in the French Gai-Pied, American The Advocate, British Gay Times, German Rosa Flieder, Dutch Gaykrant.

1984 Begins writing articles in Focus on aspects of photography. Olaf's work is removed from the photo exhibition in the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam because the bodybuilding models in his pictures are not nude. This results in major publicity.

1985 He publishes his first booklet, Stadsgezichten (Faces of the City), a mixture of photojournalism and studio photography.

1986 Does much commissioned work, including covers for the Vinyl music magazine, and begins working for the Haagse Post weekly magazine.

1987 Publication of a portfolio in the Vrij Nederland weekly magazine results in a breakthrough. Besides working for magazines, Olaf starts to work for film and record companies. He creates a complete exhibition of photographs of nude older women and females with overweight for the film Een maand later (A month later) by Noushka van Brakel. Makes a portrait photograph every week for the Haagse Post.

1988 Creation of the series Chessmen, an attempt to play the game. Focus publishes all 32 pictures in a book. Olaf is awarded first prize in the Young European Photographer competition, and the photographs are exhibited in the Ludwig Museum in Cologne.

1989 Olaf works on assignment for Vrij Nederland. When his series 'SM in Holland' is published, the magazine is sold out in one day. The series provokes a major row.

1990 The theatre company Het Zuidelijk Toneel contracts him to make a series of posters, of which several are banned as being too shocking. In his new series Blacks - seventeen royal portraits, Olaf experiments with black (-painted) models against a black background. First film work: three music videos of singer La Pat for VPRO television.

1991 In conjunction with painter F. Franciscus, he writes and directs the 27-minute film Tadzio. For VPRO, a public broadcasting station, he creates six children's videos. He directs a music video with renowned singer Mathilde Santing for AVRO television. Makes photographs of design objects by Borek Sipek in Slovakia, an assignment from the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

1992 For NOS Television, Olaf creates a music video (Oh la la) to celebrate Hans van Manen's sixtieth birthday.

1993 The Art Foundation Groningen contracts him to make a series of ten pictures called Ten Tables. He creates nine images entitled Bodyparts for the toilets of the Roxy discotheque in Amsterdam. A selection of his work is published in a book, Joy.

1994 After his successful retrospective, he organises five dinner parties in The Supper Club in Amsterdam. He directs two videos for the Dutch National Ballet. He directs another music video with singer Mathilde Santing for AVRO television. Exhibition of his work during the opening of the new Groninger Museum of Modern Art by the Queen. He travels to the USA and France for several major magazines. His poster for the Dutch film 06 causes a minor scandal when revealed to the public.

1995 Mind of their Own series: 18 portraits of mentally handicapped people, with the premiere at the Naarden photo-festival. Dutch Prime Minister Kok opens the exhibition. The portraits are also published by Focus under the same title. Olaf co-directs a television show about Karin Bloemen, a leading Dutch singer/actress. Creates The Patrick Bateman Girls, his first series using Paintbox.

1996 He creates a photographic artwork for a new prison in Zutphen. In conjunction with the architect Rem Koolhaas, he designs a public toilet for men and women in Groningen. An interview in the magazine Lürzer's Archiv leads to a breakthrough in commercial photography. Makes the Lorena Bobbit Boys series.

1997 Completes a series of eight posters for the 'Das Schauspielhaus' theatre in Vienna Olaf photographs a series of CD covers of Wagner's music performed by The Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. He directs a music video for Dutch singer Paul de Leeuw. He develops 3 sunshades with colourful clowns for the Dennendal institute for the mentally handicapped. He makes photos of Walter van Beirendonck's winter collection for View on Color magazine.

1998 Olaf photographs a worldwide campaign for Diesel, the jeans/fashion brand. One of the pictures wins a 'Silver Lion' at the Cannes commercial festival. The Diesel company is honoured as 'Advertiser of the year'. He is asked to do the art direction for the experimental theatrical music and dance performance, Grip, and also makes a documentary on the making of the show. He directs a music video for the AIDS Foundation. Organises his first Fucque les Balles party in Amsterdam.

1999 VPRO Broadcasting Company asks him to direct six short documentaries called Het begin: with married couples talking about the conception of their child. Olaf creates his Mature series: ten pin-up pictures of elderly women, 60-90 years old. In the summer he works for Silk Cut, Levi's, Hennessey Cognac, Laurent Perrier and Rifle, among others. He directs a commercial against the illegal copying of compact discs, for which he wins a Dutch award. Makes the clip Dancing With You, to be broadcast on television in Millennium night.

2000 Olaf makes the Fashion Victims series in the summer. In November, the new series, Royal Blood, is shown at Paris Photo. During the entire year, Erwin works on several projects for advertising companies: Camel, Animal Protection Society (against use of lab animals), Heineken, Carling Beer, and others. Olaf directs a music video for the Dutch band Volumia. He ends the year with a party Fucque les Balles in Paradiso, organised in conjunction with Speedfreax. He makes the 3-minute film Clowns for this occasion.

2001 New Paradise Club and Paradise Portraits series are created in the autumn. Olaf does commercial work for Nokia and Nintendo, among others.

2002 Olaf makes an international breakthrough in the field of advertising. He works for Microsoft, Nintendo, Nokia, Virgin, Energy Jeans, and others. Citizen K asks him to do a large editorial. All campaigns are shown worldwide.

2003 Produces the new series, Separation. Olaf wins several awards forhis autonomous work, as well as his advertising campaigns. He works for Walkers, Virgin, BMW, Audi, Nokia, Microsoft and others. Olaf designs a monumental photo installation for the ceiling of the Dutch Embassy in Warschau. This assignment is commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2004 For the third time Olaf works with designer Marcel Wanders on the series Moooi. He also works with Ingo Maurer in a campaign for Campbells soup. In October the monumental photo installation for the ceiling of the Dutch Embassy in Warschau will be opened. During this year Erwin Olaf gets the opportunity to shoot the prestigious 2005 calendar for Lavazza.

2005 Erwin Olaf shoots a sequence on his successful 2004 series Rain, called Hope. His video works are expanded with 3 new short films, which immediately gets international coverage. Also this year Erwin Olaf shoots a big campaign for international USA-account Kohler. Other big international campaigns include Lee Jeans and People of the Labyrinth.

2006 Early 2006 starts well with a cover for The New York Times Magazine. Inside the magazine 3 other pictures are also published. A campaign for Tiger Beer has been shot for international usage.

2007 Creating and directing the children movie 'Toms Space', which is produced by Burny Bos, is being scheduled for this year.

see bio with awards & exhibitions


Erwin Olaf online:


Photography


Erwin Olaf


  • Roots: 1959, Born in Hilversum, The Netherlands
  • Age: 47
  • Place of residence/work: Amsterdam
  • Education: School for journalism, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  • I started to photograph: in 1980 as assistant photographer to Andé Ruigrok
  • Camera(s) I use: Hasselblad
  • Favorite photosensitive material: Kodak Professional, E100 g
  • Favorite aperture and shutter speed: F:16.5 - 22, 1/500
  • Pictures hanging in your apartment: Anton Corbijn, Jan Saudek, David Lachapelle, own work
  • Favorite photographer: David Lachapelle

Hope

presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf

Hope (portraits)

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Lavazza

presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf

People of The Labyrinths

presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf

Rain

presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf presentations : Erwin Olaf

© Erwin Olaf