Erwin Olaf

Erwin Olaf

Erwin Olaf
Quick Facts About Erwin Springveld
Celebrated Name Erwin Olaf
Age 64 years old
Nick Name Erwin
Birth Name Erwin Olaf Springveld
Birth Date 1959-07-02
Gender Male
Profession Photographer
Birth Nation Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Place of Birth Hilversum
Father Simon Jacobus Springveld
Mother Lydia van 't Hoff
School School of Journalism
Marital Status Married
Sexual Orientation Gay
Net Worth $4 Million
Sources of Wealth Photography Career
Salary $500K+
Death Date 20th September 2023
Cause of Death Emphysema

Erwin Olaf was a Dutch photographer. He was famous for his exceptional contributions to both commercial and personal photography. His iconic series, including "Grief," "Rain," and "Royal Blood," have left an indelible mark on the world of visual art. Time magazine aptly characterized his work as seamlessly bridging the realms of commercial, art, and fashion photography. His art graced galleries and museums worldwide, with exhibitions at esteemed venues such as Wagner + Partner in Berlin, Flatland Gallery in Amsterdam, Hamiltons Gallery in London, Galerie Magda Danysz in Paris, and Gallery Espacio Minimo in Madrid, among others. In recognition of his outstanding achievements, Erwin Olaf was honored with the National Medal of Honour for Science and Arts on March 13, 2023. Tragically, on September 20, 2023, Olaf died at the age of 64. 

Erwin Olaf Biography

Erwin Olaf, the Dutch photographer was renowned for his iconic series like "Grief," "Rain," and "Royal Blood." His work seamlessly bridged commercial, art, and fashion photography, earning global acclaim in galleries and museums such as Wagner + Partner in Berlin, Flatland Gallery in Amsterdam, Hamiltons Gallery in London, Galerie Magda Danysz in Paris, and Gallery Espacio Minimo in Madrid. 

Erwin Olaf Springveld, born on July 2, 1959, hailed from Hilversum, Netherlands. He held Dutch nationality and had a Dutch-White ethnicity. Born to his father, Simon Jacobus Springveld, and his mother, Lydia van 't Hoff, Erwin Olaf pursued his education in journalism at the School of Journalism in Utrecht, setting the foundation for his remarkable career in visual storytelling.

Erwin Olaf Career

Erwin Olaf, a highly acclaimed photographer renowned for his exceptional commercial and personal photography, left an indelible mark on the art world. His portfolio encompassed a wide spectrum of projects, including commissioned work for prestigious international companies like Levi's, Microsoft, and Nokia. While his commercial photography showcased his versatility and creativity, it was his personal photographic series that truly defined his artistic legacy. Some of his most iconic collections, such as "Grief," "Rain," and "Royal Blood," stood out for their daring and provocative themes. 

Despite early setbacks, including the expulsion of one of his photographs from an exhibition for its lack of nudity, Olaf's resilience and dedication to his craft ultimately earned him numerous awards and global recognition. His work found a prominent place in galleries and museums worldwide, including prominent venues like Wagner + Partner in Berlin, Flatland Gallery in Amsterdam, and Hamiltons Gallery in London. Moreover, his creative vision extended beyond the realm of photography, as he designed the 2014 Dutch euro coins featuring the portrait of King Willem-Alexander. 

Dutch Photographer, Erwin Olaf Dies At 64

Erwin Olaf Exhibitions


  • Munich Kunsthalle - Solo Exhibition: Unheimlich schön (irreally beautiful)


  • Anniversary Solo Show, Gemeente Museum The Hague & The Hague Museum of Photography, The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Palm Springs Unseen, Flatland, Amsterdam


  • Album 13 d'Indochine, Galerie Rabouan Moussin, Paris, France
  • Human&Nature, Gallery Kong, Seoul, Republic of Korea


  • Erwin Olaf - Four Series, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo de Málaga, Málaga, Spain
  • Cell of Emotions, National Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Homage Louis Gallait, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia


  • A Corps Perdu, Magda Danysz Gallery, Paris
  • Erwin Olaf: The Empire of Illusion, Museo de Arte Contemporaine de Rosario, Rosario, Argentina
  • Waiting, Flatland, Amsterdam
  • "Retrospective," Fondation Oriente Museu, Macau, Chine


  • Art & Fashion, Magda Danysz Gallery, Paris

2013 :

  • "Erwin Olaf - Berlin," Rabouan Moussion Gallery, Paris 
  • "Erwin Olaf - Waiting," Rabouan Moussion Gallery, Paris 
  • "Émotions - Installations," La Sucrière, Lyon
  • "Berlin," Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York
  • "Berlin," Hamiltons Gallery, Londres 


  • The Dark Side, Rabouan Moussion Gallery, Paris
  • "Works 2000 - 2010," Art Statements Gallery, Hong Kong
  • "Erwin Olaf," Kong Gallery, Séoul
  • "Short Stories," Wagner Gallery, Berlin


  • "Erwin Olaf," Art Statements Gallery, Tokyo
  • "Paradise the club," Rabouan Moussion Gallery, Paris
  • "High Tension," Carbon, Dubaï
  • "Captured senses," Cer Modern, Ankara
  • "Erwin Olaf," Nordic Light International Festival of Photography, Kristiansund


  • "Erwin Olaf Hotel," Magda Danysz Gallery, Paris
  • "Erwin Olaf Hotel," Paris-Benijing Gallery, Pékin
  • "Erwin Olaf - Recent Work," Hamiltons Gallery, Londres
  • "Hotel, Dawn & Dusk," Hasted Kraeutler Gallery, New York

2009 :

  • Dusk, Flatland, Amsterdam
  • "Série Laboral Escena," Magda Danysz Gallery, Paris
  • "Rain, Hope, Grief & Fall," Institut Netherlands, Paris
  • "Darts of Pleasure," Domus Artium Museum, Salamanque
  • "Moving Targets," Haifa Museum of Art, Haïfa

Who is Erwin Olaf Partner, Kevin Ray Edwards?

Erwin Olaf was married to his partner, Kevin Ray Edwards Springveld. By profession, his husband, Kevin Ray Edwards is an actor. Their union endured until Erwin's passing. In terms of his sexuality, Erwin openly identified as gay, proudly contributing to the visibility and acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals in the art world and beyond. 

Erwin Olaf Death 

Erwin Olaf, the celebrated photographer known for his boundary-pushing and provocative work, sadly passed away on September 20, 2023, at the age of 64. His untimely demise was attributed to complications arising from long-term emphysema, a condition he had battled since 1996. Despite receiving a lung transplant in his final weeks, Olaf's health declined, marking the end of an era in the world of art and photography, leaving behind a rich legacy that continues to inspire and challenge the creative boundaries of the medium.

Erwin Olaf Net Worth In 2023

Erwin Olaf, a highly successful photographer, amassed an estimated net worth of approximately $4 million at the time of his passing. His main source of wealth was from his photography career. With an annual income exceeding $500,000, he embraced life to the fullest, leaving an enduring legacy through his remarkable work.

Facts About Erwin Olaf

Erwin Olaf started his career as a photojournalist

Erwin Olaf embarked on his career as a photojournalist, initially capturing the vibrant gay scene of the 1980s. Over time, he evolved his artistic vision, delving into a diverse array of subjects, often explored in series that ranged from the evocative black and white compositions of "Squares," "Chessmen," and "Blacks" to the richly hued narratives of "Mind of their Own," "Rain," "Hope," "Grief," "Dusk," and "Dawn." In recent years, Olaf further honed his craft by delving into monumental tableaux, assuming both the roles of director and photographer. His mastery lies in the seamless fusion of photography and drama, creating works suffused with stillness, contemplation, and dreamlike intrigue. 

Olaf designed the 2014 Dutch euro coins 

In a significant artistic endeavor, Erwin Olaf played a pivotal role in the design of the 2014 Dutch euro coins, featuring the portrait of King Willem-Alexander. This creative achievement was unveiled in October 2013, marking a historic moment as the Netherlands welcomed its first monarch since 1890, King Willem-Alexander, who had been sworn in earlier in April of that year. Erwin Olaf's selected designs for the national side of the Dutch Euro coin were officially released to the public on January 23, 2014, commemorating this momentous occasion through his artistic vision.

He studied journalism at Utrecht

Erwin Olaf's educational journey took him to the School of Journalism in Utrecht, where he honed his skills and laid the foundation for his illustrious career. This academic endeavor provided him with the knowledge and expertise that would later enable him to excel in the world of photography, where he became renowned for his exceptional contributions to both commercial and personal photography, leaving an indelible mark on the art form.