"These are enigmatic narratives and portraits, mostly of women, caught in private moments. The décor, the hairstyles, the clothes, and the affect all reference the early 1960’s in the US. The color palette further underscores this. Like his earlier work, these images are carefully staged in studio settings. This is not reportage. GRIEF is the last episode in the series following RAIN and HOPE which were called "mysterious and touching" by Ken Johnson writing for The New York Times.
The models here seem caught in intensely private moments of reflection or indecision. Up close it appears that some of them have been crying. The reason for these tears is never explicit. Similarly the colors are slightly drained. The images almost seem intended for a slick lifestyle editorial portfolio, but instead they are unexpectedly moody and haunting. The impact is unsettling. The artist has been influenced by the styles of the early years of the John F. Kennedy White House and inspired by the social change of the 60’s. A specific inspiration was a well-known 1961 Mark Shaw portrait of Jackie Kennedy. Although a small child in the 1960’s, Olaf has a powerful early memory of both Kennedys. He is now struck by the seeming globalization of the world, the rise of feminism and the middle class, and in particular, the pervasive influence of TV..." [Via Hasted Hunt]