Netherlands – The Royal Family
The latest PostNL stamps feature 5 penetrating portraits of King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and princesses Amalia, Alexia and Ariane. The photos were taken by photographer Erwin Olaf, who is celebrating his 40th anniversary this year.
Royal Christmas card
In the background of the stamp sheetlet is a group photo of the king, queen and their 3 daughters. This photo, also by Olaf, decorated the royal Christmas card of 2018. The issue of the new stamps with the 5 royal portraits is an initiative of PostNL.
In 2019 there were several jubilee exhibitions with the work of Olaf, including in the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and the Fotomuseum Den Haag. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima also visited these exhibitions, where they were guided personally by Olaf. Olaf: “The overview exhibitions showed how I have changed from an angry young man to a visual artist who looks at the world in a more sensible and contemplative manner. This also applies to the almost abstract and absurdist discovery of the portrait as a medium, with techniques such as cropping and cutting. How close can you get to the essence of man? I applied those lessons to these portraits of the royal family. ”
PostNL was keen to put the informal photos of the royal family on stamps, explains Stephan van den Eijnden, PostNL’s commercial director Mail. “There was no place for the 5 stamps with Olaf’s most important work that were released earlier this year. Now these accessible and penetrating photos are getting all the attention they deserve. Today’s issue is also in our tradition of regularly commissioning high-profile artists for stamp designs. For example, the permanent stamps with King Willem-Alexander were designed by Studio Job, based on a portrait of photographer Rineke Dijkstra. ”
Erwin Olaf (Hilversum, 1959) attended the School of Journalism in Utrecht and after graduating he successively focused on reportage photography and staged photography. In 2013 Olaf designed the statue for the new euro coin with King Willem-Alexander. The photographer has many prizes to his name, including a Lucie Award (for Achievement in Advertising) and in 2011 the Johannes Vermeer Prize, the Dutch state prize for the arts.