Erwin Olaf: Volume II

Moody and melancholy, this new photography book is all atmosphere


Netherlands-born photographer Erwin Olaf is internationally famed for his mysterious and moody imagery—from hyper-posed, traditionally inspired portraits and still lifes to the seemingly creepy and voyeuristic. His photos create a strong sense of atmosphere and, while never fully telling a story, open up various narratives left open for viewer interpretation. Aperture has recently collected a wealth of stunning images for the upcoming book, “Erwin Olaf: Volume II,” set to release 31 October 2014.


The striking tome (which is 112 pages, complete with 75 color images) is a follow up to 2008’s “Erwin Olaf” with a lush and decadent feeling permeating it—from the cloth-bound cover to the rich and evocative images within. Yet, as with almost all Olaf’s photographs, the combination of the stillness, his subject’s expression and the haunting lighting creates a sadness—even something sinister—that looms over each one. As Francis Hodgson (professor in the Culture of Photography at the University of Brighton, England) says in his included essay, “Olaf has invented a way of slowly filling photographs with a deep melancholy, like an eye slowly filling with tears.”


“Erwin Olaf: Volume II” will be officially released 31 October 2014, but is currently available to pre-order on Amazon for $44. Aperture will also release limited edition photographs and prints in conjunction with the book’s release.

Images by Cool Hunting