Erwin Olaf

Erwin Olaf – Dusk & Dawn series, The Soldier (2009)

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Dutch artist Erwin Olaf’s contrasting series “Dusk & Dawn,” which mixes color and black-and-white photography; Dawn emerges as a reflection of Dusk. The same approach, the same situations, similar characters, but their opposites. The same era but in a different place. Now, instead of rich Afro-America New Yorkers, what is evoked is an early twentieth century Russian dacha, completely white and Caucasian. The images captured by this pioneer in photography, which intrigued and captivated Olaf for their superb quality, depicted afro-americans in a previously unseen way: men and women portrayed with dignity in middle class homes and in classroom scenes where the teachers, for the most part, were white men and women.

Olaf claims he was inspired by the work of nineteenth-century photographer Frances B. Johnson for “Dusk/Dawn.” It focuses on African-American subjects, and extended in “Dawn,” which focuses on pale-skinned subjects in stark, blindingly white spaces.

Lambda print.
230 x 121 cm.
Edition 2/10
Made in 2009
Including certificate

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