No need to announce one of Trendland’s favorite photographer, Erwin Olaf – Here we’d like to feature one his latest series entitled ‘ Palm Spring Project ‘ – As usual his lighting and framing are always so cinematic and so very him. We love it! Be sure to check the link below to see some of his backstage pictures and videos.
Made on location, Palm Springs depicts a series of enigmatic encounters with a cast of imagined characters, inspired by the celebrated history and aesthetic of the southern California city.
While set in the modern day, Palm Springs evokes the memory and visual language of the city’s past, recalling its heyday as the quintessential midcentury paradise. Southern California has been mythologized as a carefree promise land, a limitless pastiche of cerulean swimming pools and emerald lawns, a reputation preserved by iconic poolside scenes by artists such as Slim Aarons and David Hockney. Olaf’s vision harnesses these themes to explore twenty-first century realities: the desire for glamor, wealth, and sex are ever present, but this world is more diverse, complicated, and introspective than before. In Olaf’s new Palm Springs, young people read Lolita while sun-bathing on yellow patches of grass; workers daydream in public laundromats; families enjoy scenic picnics on rocky desertscapes; and the artist himself, drinking a dirty martini poolside, sports graying hair.
Cinematic and painterly, each scene is a perfectly staged composition, with every detail conscious and controlled, while also intimating a sense of mystery and disquiet. Dressed fashionably in immaculate homes or lounging at the pool, Olaf’s subjects appear to live a beautiful life, yet each is caught in moments of palpable desire, fantasy, reflection, and tension—a reflection of Olaf’s interest in the experience of the individual in an increasingly globalized world. Viewers are left to allow their imaginations to fill in the context of the scenarios and relationships captured in each photograph, as Olaf masterfully creates a sense of emotional immediacy while leaving the ambiguous storyline open to personal interpretation.