Olaf Hajek was born in Rendsburg, Germany, and studied Graphic Design in the early 90's at the Fachhochschule in Düsseldorf, though he came to realise Graphic Design wasn't for him and so lept into the world of Freelance Illustration, where he is now an illustrious and massively sought-after artistic illustrator (as he referred to himself in Gestalten's interview with him).
Not only does Hajek produce exquisite pieces of art, he applies his entirely analogue painting technique to a range of commissions, from editorial to advertising and fashion, all over the world.
Coca Cola Plant Hopenhagen
Revolutionary Hair, WE LOVE HAIR, Schwarzkopf
Cover for the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association
Apple Educational Ad
Corner 2 Frei
As you can see, Hajek's work can be incredibly diverse, while maintaining his unmistakable style. It's amazing, and very comforting, to see work such as some of the above being used in advertising, it's not often you see such consciously memorable adverts, let alone want them as pieces of art in their own right!
There are countless reasons why I love Hajek's paintings, but mostly because of the array of influences which his work displays: shapes and stylistic influences from Indian art, Frida Kahlo, Botanical Illustration, Mexican Folk Art, Dutch 17th Century still life paintings, African tribal art and so many more.
I also love the fact that the only point Hajek works digitally is when scanning his work to be sent to a client, working in an entirely analogue way, using acrylic paints to paint onto cardboard or wood, tending to prime his choice of canvas with a dark colour, rather than white.
Flowerhead is Olaf Hajeks's first monograph and is full of personal work produced exclusively for the book, as well as being a collection of his commercial work.
Here are a few links to some interviews with Olaf Hajek and some great sources of his paintings:
Below is a great video interview with the man himself, courtesy of Gestalten TV.