FAD caught up with Erwin ahead off his show of new work Berlin at Hamiltons gallery. 7th March – 10th May 2013 Hamiltons Gallery 13, Carlos, Place, London W1K 2EU.
1.If you weren’t an artist, what else would you be?
Ofcourse a Supermodel, or a carpenter on a filmset.
2. Can you tell us more about your work and what are the main ideas you would like to express?
My work is mainly staged photography, and recently I have started to work on location as well for my personal work.
I would like to express a celebration of freedom, diversity and the freedom of expression with my work. It’s something I value very much.
3. How do you start the process of making work?
Usually I get my ideas while lying on the couch.. Once I have an idea I get together with a group of people that I like to collaborate with, a stylist, set designer, make up artist and discuss my idea. From there on we start working on it.
4. Do you consider the viewer, when making your work?
Only when it’s commissioned work. For my personal work, I don’t know who the ‘viewer’ is.
5. Name 3 artists that have inspired your work?
David Bowie, Visconti and Pierre Molinier
6. What defines something as a work of art?
Art should be connected to the maker in a unique fashion, it should communicate on different levels and (from my point of view) it should have an esthetic aspect to it.
7. In times of austerity, do you think art has a moral obligation to respond topically?
Yes, I think that artist should be a part of society, and not stand or live outside of it. In a time like this it should reflect in your work what is going on.
8. Anytime, any place – which artist’s body would you most like to inhabit?
Dita von Teese!
9. What is your favourite ‘ism’?
Tourism, especially when I am part of it!
10. What was the most intelligent thing that someone said or wrote about your work?
His gift for highly detailed but ambiguous storytelling is very much on display(…) Spare but calculated, the scenes are suggestive and their cinematic nature reflects Mr. Olaf’s evolution as an artist. It is the uneasy feeling they evoke, the mystery of each scene’s role in a greater story that draws you in
. (Anne Carnick – New York Times)
11. And the dumbest?
I try not to torture myself by reading dumb things.
12. Which artists would you most like to rip off, sorry, I mean appropriate as a critique of originality and authorship?
None, I have my hands full with myself.
13. Do you care what your art costs? State your reasons!
Of course I love to make a good living for myself, but I don’t want to know too much about prices and money, I find it stifling.
14. What’s next for you?
I have several exhibitions coming up with my new Series Berlin and Keyhole and the Keyhole installation (in New York, London and Lyon). I have started to think about making a new installation like the Keyhole (with photography, film and 3d) I am also very inspired by my travels to Asia and would like to put that inspiration to work for a new series.