Erwin OlafJoy (1985)

I didn’t immediately recognize Olaf’s name when msjanssen reblogged this image (which I have an inkling is a self-portrait) and it  seemed like it sort of wanted to riff on Peter Hujar’s haunting portrait of David Wojnarowicz masturbating and formed an informal point-of-departure for Jeff Wall’s rigorously formal and uncharacterically garish Stereo. (Also, if you want an interesting thought exercise: consider the trajectory from Blade Runner through Olaf to something like say the post-production infusion of underexposed tenebrism in a show like Hannibal while Wall is very painstaking, using a fucking shit ton of light to communicate gloaming.)

But you remember those hideous nudes with the bags from monolithic fashion designers over their heads? It’s called Fashion Victims and well, let’s just say it lacks any sort of subtlety.

Having said that: Olaf’s done some excellent work–though you wouldn’t know it from his website is basically MySpace with Quicktime VR plugin dragged kicking and screaming into some sort of javascript from hell bullshit. (There is no acceptable excuse for an image maker to subject people to such a goddamn awful fucking page.)

The Advocate put together an excellent edit of his work last year;  you should absolutely check it out.

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