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Surrounded by the overwhelming beauty of the Alpine forest, Olaf created Im Wald, his first-ever series of photographs in which nature is placed center stage. Yet, Olaf did not exclusively photograph natural landscapes. He forefronts the role of people, staging them in visually astounding settings and examining their relationship to nature. Olaf questions who we are and why we believe everything to be within our reach. He worries that we have become too hubristic, taking for granted what we think we’re owed. Im Wald is an outspoken commentary on travelling and explores the impact of mass tourism on nature. Olaf makes an appeal to his audience to cherish and admire nature.

About the artist

Erwin Olaf is an internationally exhibiting artist whose diverse practice centers around society’s marginalized individuals, 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 from his oeuvre were added to the collection of the Rijksmuseum. Taco Dibbits, Rijksmuseum director, called Olaf “one of the most important photographers of the final quarter of the 20th century”.

“Current events have really put me through the ringer. It’s a very special time we live in. I have never experienced a global pandemic before. I’ve also never experienced the effects of climate change so visibly. […] I very much felt the urge to address these issues in my work.”

— Erwin Olaf

For more information via the Website of the Ron Mandos Gallery.

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You may also want to enjoy an interview / Tour of the work with Erwin Olaf on Vimeo