German photographer Stefan Draschan spends an eternity inside museums to see not only the art but also other art lovers.
In his ongoing series People Matching Artworks, the France-based creative visits museums around Europe and patiently waits for people to unintentionally match the artwork they’re looking at. It could be a woman whose hair matches a painting’s composition, or a man whose clothes are identical to the one worn by a subject.
Other times, it could simply be their stance, or how they react to the artwork in front of them. For instance, a couple holds hands, seemingly mimicking another couple in the painting.
Draschan captures all these in secret, often at a distance from the museum-goers. He then posts it on social media, as well as in exhibitions, for all to see.
He’s already been to museums in San Francisco, New York, Paris, Vienna, and Berlin – and is looking to visit more. So always be ready with your most artistic outfit, because you’ll never know when he’ll be at a museum near you.
We had the opportunity to talk to Stefan Draschan. In this short interview, he goes into more detail about his fascinating series People Matching Artworks.
Where’d you get the idea to photograph people who coincidentally matched the exhibits?
“It just happened, like all of my photography or my artistic approach to the world. I’m no conceptual artist, but instead, I observe. First were Cars Matching Homes, then Couples Matching, and then I saw these patterns in museums, which led to People Matching Artworks. On a side note, all of my series are ongoing.”
Take us through the experience. How difficult was it? How long did you usually have to wait to find the perfect match?
“From two minutes to never. I have seen artworks and people that match, but sometimes were too far away or the photograph was out of focus.”
Have any of your subjects caught you taking their photo? If so, what was their reaction?
“No, never. Twice they moved their heads when they heard the click and looked at me, but I usually just take photographs of anything around so as not to get caught.”
Which one is your favourite, and why?
“There are almost 500 now in the series, and I have at least 50 favourites. It’s even tough for me to reduce them to 10 or 20, as it is necessary for competitions or exhibitions.”
What camera equipment do you use whenever you visit museums?
“My standard camera is a Nikon D610 with 50 mm and 85 mm lenses, but sometimes I borrow others.”
Which museums do you plan to stake out next?
“Paris is great for me now. I could spend a hundred years in the museums here. Although, I want to take photographs all over the world, too, as fantastic artworks are everywhere.”