Photography Sunday: Erwin Olaf

Erwin Olaf
click on all of the images for close up views. it's worth it.

Olaf mixes photojournalism with studio photography and comes up with some really gorgeous shots playing off of different themes. Some series, such as Fashion Victims [2002], are really aggressive in shoving the concept into the viewers face. That particular series is almost pornographic in style, expressing his commentary on consumerism of sex and designer labels. Though not really a style i am too fond to look at over and over again, it is a very powerful criticism of the sexualization of consumer culture today.

My favorite series of Olaf's is Grief. The colors are muted but still strong in conveying the mood. The stark and retro/modern environment in each photo really elucidates that feeling of loss and loneliness when one is going through grief. I think in my own mind, I associate the 50's with people having to be restrained in their emotions, never being honest with themselves or others. That happy 50's face mask really is torn off in these photos and real emotion shines through even without dramatic facial expressions. In all the times i have really deeply experienced grief, I think my body language has completely reflected the body language of each subject in these photos. I think these photos are just painfully stunning. What do you think?

1 comment:

Margaret said...

I enjoyed that a lot