Location: Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Erwin Olaf is an internationally exhibiting artist whose diverse practice focuses on marginalized individuals in society. Including women, people of color and the LGBTQ + community. In 2019, Olaf became a Knight of the Order of the Lion of the Netherlands. After 500 works of his work were added to the Rijksmuseum collection.
An activist approach.
In 2018, Olaf produced a triptych of monumental photographic and film paintings depicting periods of seismic change in the world’s major cities. Citizens embraced and shocked by their urban progress. Like much of his work, it is contextualized by complex race relationships. The devastation of economic divisions. Complications of sexuality. Olaf has maintained an activist approach to equality throughout his 40-year career. After starting to document the liberation of pre-AIDS homosexuals in Amsterdam nightlife in the 1980s.
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam.
A daring and sometimes controversial approach has earned the artist many prestigious collaborations. Vogue and Louis Vuitton, at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. He was the official portrait painter of the Dutch Royal Family in 2017 and designed the national side of the euro coins for King Willem-Alexander in 2013. He was awarded the prestigious Johannes Vermeer Prize of the Netherlands, as well as the photographer of the Year at the International Color Awards. Dutch artist of the year from Kunstbeeld magazine.