Erwin Olaf has been one of the most famous Dutch photographers for some while now. Olaf's trademark is to address social issues, taboos, and bourgeois conventions in a highly stylized and cunning mode of image making. Very recognizable work, filled with dramatic visual and emotional impact. Why is he included here? Because he also made a series of Dutch football players!
In anticipation of EURO 2008 the Dutch newspaper AD asked Olaf to make a photography series for the special magazine they were going to publish. Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Edwin van der Sar, John Heitinga, Rafael van der Vaart, Joris Mathijsen and Nigel de Jong all showed up and off in front of Olaf's camera in the end. The result? Gladiator styled photographs of the players portraying the frase 'Football is war' to the maximum. Olaf himself said he wanted to 'show them as warriors'. He supposedly screamed and yelled to get the players pumped up and out of their comfort zone for the photos and we can't deny it didn't work!
Erwin Olaf is a living photography legend, so be sure to check out more of his work on his own website and see the highly stylized emotion of his work with your own eyes!