The extraordinary Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf’s first exhibition in Turkey will be inaugurating at CerModern. ‘Captured Senses’, consisting of seven series and short films of the artist who is known as extraordinary genius of modern photography, will take place between 30 April-30 July 2011 at CerModern in collaboration with the Embassy of Netherlands in Turkey.


Erwin Olaf works on the beauty of unusual, the adoration of violence on his series and assembles his photographs and their colors as a painter. As one of the most known photographers with many awards and exhibitions all over the world, Olaf’s trademark is to address social issues, taboos with his striking and original style.

A true genius of photography, Erwin Olaf ‘s first exhibition in Turkey ‘Captured Senses’ contains artist’s seven series and short films.

Rain, Hope, Hope Portraits, Grief and Grief Portraits series are based on Olaf’s inspiration by America from the late 50s and early 60s, The series meet the audience at the story between dream and reality.

‘Royal Blood’ series contains minimalist white on white portraits, depicting the vengeful nature of members of the aristocracy who have suffered unsavory deaths, interrogates the viewer ‘what makes them innocent guilty ?’

‘Paradise Portraits’ series are close-ups on beautiful women and terrifying clowns mentoring Olaf’s critical comment for daily festive life.

‘Captured Senses’ also contains Erwin Olaf’s short films which complete the series with parallel stories. ‘Captured Senses’ is organized in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Turkey as part of National Queen’s Day events. The exhibition is free of charge and can be visited Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 - 18:00 / Thursday 10:00 - 20:00 Closed on Mondays.




Born in 1959 in Hilversum (the Netherlands), lives in Amsterdam (the Netherlands)


Erwin Olaf’s art visualizes implicitly the unspoken, the overlooked, that typically resist easy documentation. OlaF’s trademark is to address social issues, taboos, and bourgeois conventions in a highly stylized and cunning mode of image making. With his razor-sharp aesthetic intuition, Olaf purposely conceals his themes, so that the viewer has to accept the initial concealment in Olaf’s photo series. Yet in the end, his unconventional style never misses to deliver dramatic visual and emotional impact.By taking care of the scenic and lightning design, and the utmost perfect composition in his typical, immaculate ;Olafian way, together with his passion for flawlessly conceiving scenarios, Olaf vividly captures the essence of contemporary life.


Mixing photojournalism with studio photography, Olaf emerged on the international art scene in 1988, when his series Chessmen was awarded the first prize in the Young European Photographer competition. This award was followed by an exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany in the same year. Deliberately disturbing and intended to raise awareness, Olaf committed himself in his earlier work on the subject of social exclusion in which he explored issues of class, race, sexual taste, beliefs, habits and grace. Printing his early work in documentary style black-and-white, he first gradually introduced color and then digital manipulation. There is great contrast with each series. Mature(1999); golden-hued portraits of elderly womenin the poses of kittenish supermodels; Fashion Victims(2000) a lewd commentary on the consumerism of sex and designer labels, Paradise(2001); picturing a dark and baroque underworld of gleeful clowning and lunacy, Seperation(2003); portraying in ice-cold and introverted family in a sterile living room. In his recent series Rain (2004), Hope (2005), Grief (2007) and Fall (2008) Olaf challenges the notion of domestic bliss. Dusk (2009) and Dawn (2010) show how culture can become repression, despite a beautiful appearance. A similar disengagement takes place in Olaf’s Hotel (2010) series in which he explores the subtle range of detached melancholic emotions in dimly-lit exquisitely furnished 1950s hotel rooms.


In 1991 he began working with film which has since continued to be an important medium for his art. Often these movies provide a parallel history to his color photography. Olaf’s visually sophisticated and conceptually provocative style has been embraced by the advertising world. His worldwide campaigns for Diesel Jeans and Heineken won him the coveted Silver Lion at the Cannes Lions Festival for Advertising.. He also won numerous other international art and media prizes, such as Photographer of the Year in the International Colour Awards in 2006, and Kunstbeeld magazine’s Artist of the Year of the Netherlands in 2007. Recently he received a Lucie Award for his entire oeuvre.