Instagram Giveaway Winners | Signed copy by Erwin Olaf

We would like to share with you the winners of our Instagram giveaway, held last weekend in celebration of our current solo exhibition by Erwin Olaf and Amsterdam Art Joint Opening Weekend. A signed copy of Erwin Olaf’s book Strange Beauty will be coming their way.

Congratulations Tomasz and Maaike!

Your personal stories about your favourite work by Erwin Olaf really touched us. May this book and Olaf’s art keep inspiring you and offer you comfort. You can read excerpts from their stories here.

Tomasz chose the Ladies Hats series as his personal favorite, due to its breathtaking beauty. He describes the series as a catalyst in decreasing the toxic significance of the macho culture and changing the perception of gender. “Recently in my country Polen, the concept of heteronormativity has led to the very unfortunate end of elections and lots of unnecessary hatred and violence, that’s why seeing this work today I felt such a relief that the biggest name in art stood up for such important values for me in a truly masterly way.”

Maaike shared with us a deeply personal story about how she was touched by Erwin Olaf’s work Der Schwan, because it reminded her of the swan she used to go watch in the Flevopark after her sister passed away.

Thank you to everyone else who participated in the giveaway, we really enjoyed seeing all of your favorite works by Erwin Olaf.

ABOUT Erwin Olaf

Erwin Olaf (1959-2023) was known for his diverse practice that centered around society’s marginalized individuals, including 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”.

In 2018, Olaf completed a triptych of monumental photographic and filmic tableaux portraying periods of seismic change in major world cities, and the citizens embraced and othered by their urban progress. Like much of his work, it is contextualized by complex race relations, the devastation of economic divisions, and the complications of sexuality. Olaf maintained an activistic approach to equality throughout his 40-year career after starting out documenting pre-AIDS gay liberation in Amsterdam’s nightlife in the 1980s.

A bold and sometimes controversial approach earned the artist a number of prestigious collaborations, from Vogue and Louis Vuitton, to the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. He served as the official portrait artist for 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 Netherlands’ prestigious Johannes Vermeer Award, as well as Photographer of the Year at the International Color Awards, and Kunstbeeld magazine’s Dutch Artist of the Year. In 2023, His Majesty the King Willem-Alexander awarded him the Medal of Honor for Art and Science of the Order of the House of Orange.

Erwin Olaf exhibited worldwide, including Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Málaga, Málaga, Spain; Museu da Imagem e do Som, São Paulo, Brazil; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, Germany; Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA; and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Santiago, Chile. In the spring of 2019, Olaf’s work was the subject of a double exhibition at Kunstmuseum The Hague and The Hague Museum of Photography, as well as a solo exhibition at the Shanghai Center of Photography. In 2021, Erwin Olaf had his first solo exhibition Im Wald at Galerie Ron Mandos and mounted a large survey exhibition at Kunsthalle München, Germany.

Olaf’s work is included in numerous private and public collections, such as the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum, both in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Museum Voorlinden, Wassenaar, The Netherlands; North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, United States; Art Progressive Collection, United States; and the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia.

Visit the artist’s website here.