NRC: Erwin Olaf & Hans van Manen

Op vrijdag 3 juni 2022 publiceerde het NRC een groot dubbel interview met Erwin Olaf en Hans van Manen. Francine van der Wiel ging met beide kunstenaars in gesprek over hun vriendschap en de samenwerking voor het project waarvan het eindresultaat vanaf 19 juni te zien zal zijn in Galerie Ron Mandos onder de titel Dance in Close-Up: Hans van Manen seen by Erwin Olaf.

Lees het interview hier of in de fysieke editie van het NRC van zaterdag 4 juni 2022.

‘Er was meteen een klik. „We zijn gaan praten over fotografie en dat doen we nu nog steeds”, aldus Van Manen. Daags na die eerste ontmoeting belde hij zijn jonge collega met de vraag of hij hém mocht fotograferen. Naakt. „Ik herinner me dat ik toen nog vrienden heb gevraagd of ik dat nou wel moest doen.” Olaf lacht aanstekelijk. „Ja natúúrlijk, zeiden ze. Ik ben ze nog dankbaar. Hans heeft me alles geleerd wat hij wist. Dat ben ik wel eens anders tegengekomen. Hij was heel genereus.”’

Lees Verder

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.