Erwin Olaf

Erwin Olaf is one of Holland’s most acclaimed contemporary photographers. Famous for his mis-en-scène and highly theatrical compositions, Olaf weaves complex and dramatic narratives into his still photographs. His work is frequently exhibited and included in numerous contemporary art and photography museums internationally.

Erwin Olaf
Matt Portrait, 2002
Chromogenic print
39 3/8 x 29 1/2 in.
Edition of 10
© Erwin Olaf

The Paradise Portraits series sees Erwin Olaf experimenting with intimate studies of the human face.


Beautiful woman offset humourless or grinning, freakily made-up clowns, expressions with such energy you can almost hear their cackles.


The works are intense and beautiful, yet teeter between horror and decadence; Olaf manages to vividly captures the spirit of contemporary life through these works.