24-year old photographer Olya Oleinic grew up in Eastern Europe and moved to the Netherlands about six years ago, “which technically became my second home,” she says. These days, she tells us via email from South Africa, “I feel like more than anything I’m based between Photoshop and safari!”
Olya’s work can perhaps be defined by the photographer’s grotesque, visceral approach, usually executed in shouting colours. Her often extreme images have won her fans in and commissions from i-D, Garage, Foam, Ordinary, Tank, Metal, Prestage, Bon, Dansk, L’Officiel, Odiseo, Glamcult, Nikon, Calvin Klein and ING.
Lately, Olya has been busy making work in and about China for her solo show at Amsterdam gallery Foam earlier this year, and working on the “mad fun twitching-dancing animation film” she made for her friends, fashion designers at Maison the Faux. “There was a lot of time spent in solitude, wondering the streets and boiling in my own thoughts, that eventually became the reconstructed realities in pictures,” Olya adds.
“My career and personal life are quite intertwined and I am very fortunate to have loads of inspiring people around me that are like inflammable liquids in my day to day life, ready to make things happen,” Olya says of the inspirations behind her work. “Frankly this is probably going to sound very clichè and vague, but I feel like what inspires me most is the concept of new, however that gets translated into reality, whether it’s a place on the planet, an alternative way of doing something, a learned word or an encounter with somebody: it all counts. New energy is the fuel! I also feel like every end of a previous chapter is a road that splits in two and brings you more energy and more new things. It’s a whirlpool.”