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We no longer need to introduce Erwin Olaf (this is what we are going to do), however, one of the greatest contemporary photographers, a universal influence on the world of photography, a precursor in the world of art. Erwin Olaf is above all a disruptor, a provocateur, taking the dictates of advertising and fashion on the wrong foot. An assertive and controlled style that will shake up taboos, provoke the art market, excite advertisers and impose itself as an alternative to the ideal of beauty, to contemporary aesthetic canons, governed by the press and advertising. The beautiful is shaken, the counter-culture takes power over fashion, thanks to blunt and incisive tools, pornography, crudeness, derision. The mastery of the subject and the quality of the rendering are total, the staging precise, intense... Erwin Olaf has lived since the beginning of the 80s in Amsterdam, where he works in his studio, a place in the image of the character, fitted out in a former parish hall. 

After studying journalism in Utrecht, the Netherlands, he embarked on fashion photography and advertising. In 1988, by combining studio photography and photojournalism, he received first prize in the Young European Photographer competition, and his career took off. Gradually, he introduces color and digital manipulation, while exploring the new possibilities offered by cinema and video. After a few notable exhibitions, he developed commercial projects with renowned brands which he would later criticize, in 2000 with his Fashion Victim series: naked models, sometimes with their limbs erect, sometimes their thighs open, their faces covered by bags bearing the logo and name of major luxury brands. The same year, Erwin Olaf, labeled provocative photographer, was inspired by his crazy evenings at Paradiso, a rock temple in Amsterdam, and produced the two series populated by scary clowns, Paradise the Club and Paradise Portraits, which would make him famous. At the same time, Olaf engages in more personal work: questions of class, race, sexual orientation, beliefs... After his Hope, Chagrin, Autumn, Twilight series where Erwin evokes questions related to the specificities of each sex , to sensuality, humour, despair and grace, he created Hotel (2010) in which he explores the subtle range of emotions with a melancholy tendency, in hotel rooms reminiscent of the 50's. Over time, Erwin Olaf has established himself as an acerbic and intense photographer, whose works, sometimes sources of controversy, have always been unanimously acclaimed by critics.

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