Erwin Olaf has been a practicing artist from 1983 until present time. The original medium that Olaf has used was a Hasselblad. Eventually in his later years he switch to a digital medium and would either use a digital hasselblad or a digital camera. He originally went to school for journalism, and wanted to become a journalist. When he started his practice he realised that he hated journalistic photography.
He starts his talk off by explain that people believe his work to be shocking and not expected. He was also very intrigued with the entire gay movement and the ‘pornographic’ approach to it. He is very interested in the human body, the abstraction that the body makes, and being able to take the identity from the person. When creating his work he liked to make fantasies, but he makes it very clear that these are other people’s fantasies and not his. Olaf mentions the demonstration of power through his work; whether it is the loss of power or the gain of power. He believes that artwork should be created through diversity of the world.
There are many inspirations that Olaf talks about. He became inspired by David Bowie and the images of him. Olaf wanted to photograph his models such as the way Bowie was photographed. He was fascinated by a couple of films which included Casanova, Clockwork Orange, and Blow-Up. He liked Blow-Up because it showed how photographers worked in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He was very inspired by Pablo Picasso and the diversity of his work. He receives some inspiration from David LaChapelle.
In 2007, Olaf had decided to go digital. This is when he started to work with Photoshop and the idea of digitally altering photographs.
I personally like his older work that he created. I find that his new work is more commercialized and less artistic. When he had started to use Photoshop, his work became fake and unrealistic looking.