Born in Hilversum in the Netherlands in 1959, Erwin Olaf lives and works in Amsterdam since the early 80's. His current studio is situated in a former church hall.
Mixing photojournalism with studio photography, Olaf emerged in 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. Since then Olaf has continued to explore issues of gender, sensuality, humor, despair and grace in each successive series.