Facing Life and Death

Joop Valstar by Erwin Olaf
Joop Valstar by Erwin Olaf

A dying man asked photographer Erwin Olaf to make a farewell portrait. He died a couple of hours after this final picture was taken, photographed at home as he was already too ill to come to the studio.

What strikes me is the powerful presence and the unflinching peace that is emanating from the face, shining brightly through the frail body that is about to give way. The artist managed to capture both the impermanent and the transcendental.