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This week in the VIP lounge of Art Basel Miami Beach, the champagne house Ruinart is presenting its annual artist commission, “Erwin Olaf: Light.”
Ruinart is no stranger to the world of contemporary art and design, having collaborated with artists like Dustin Yellin, Georgia Russell, Piet Hein Eek, prior to working with Erwin Olaf.
In the new series, which as been shown during at AIPAD, Art Basel, and FIAC earlier this year, Olaf photographed Ruinart’s cellars in Reims, Frace—declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site last July. All in black-and-white, the photos capture the prehistoric details of the crayères, traces left by unknown persons.
Of the project, Olaf said, “These are more mature. I think it’s very close to who I am. You have to understand I didn’t wake up one morning thinking, ‘I’m going to photograph champagne cellars.’ That’s the assignment, but it’s one of the best assignments I had to do because it pushed me into a direction. As the work matures you can see it’s not to shock but it’s more a research of insight.”