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Strange Beauty.

Photographs by Erwin Olaf. Edited by Roger Diederen, Anja Huber, and Kunsthalle München. Text by Daniel Hornuff, Anja Huber, Claudia Peppel, Franziska Stöhr, and Estelle Vallender.
Hatje Cantz, 2021. 240 pp., 300 illustrations, 9½x11¾".



Publisher's Description

A 40-year survey of lush portraits and eerie genre scenes from the celebrated Dutch photographer.

The work of Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf (born 1959) is recognizable for its high-gloss aesthetic value and compositional precision, all staged down to the smallest detail. His large-scale portraiture and genre scenes are by turns sensual and surreal; each photograph appears as though it could be a frame lifted from a film.

Over the course of his creative career, Olaf has worked as a photojournalist and a fashion photographer as well as a fine art photographer: the confluence of these disciplines informs his signature style of imagery that hints at a darker narrative behind an immaculate varnish. Midcentury advertisements and his own past as a participant in the 1980s club scene also serve to inform the aesthetic that Olaf has painstakingly cultivated over the past four decades. His scenes frequently feature beautiful sitters cast in painterly light; the jewel tones and rich variants of mahogany and chestnut are evocative of a different era without feeling dated.

This volume is published alongside Olaf’s first comprehensive solo exhibition in Germany, providing readers with an in-depth understanding of his multifaceted career through quality reproductions.


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Cat# DU159H Hardbound $50.00 (978-3775749213)
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