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This Photographer Seeks Out Museumgoers Who Perfectly Match The Art

“Museums are my natural habitat,” says photographer Stefan Draschan. “I like museums’ silence and how there isn’t pollution or danger from cars, which dominate most of the other public spaces in our civilization.” Over the years he’s surreptitiously documented the social dynamics that emerge in art museums–fatigued visitors catching 40 winks, people touching the artwork, and groups of three admiring pieces in unison. One of his longest-running and most evocative series is called People Matching Artworks, an exploration of coincidental coordination between paintings and their admirers.

[Photo: Stefan Draschan]
In People Matching Artworks, you’ll see people donning garments that match the paintings both in color palette and style of dress. Sometimes their poses match. Every now and then it’s their hair that matches the artwork.

Draschan employs a methodical process in his compositions, which he explains on his Tumblr. First he finds a painting he likes, then explores how to frame it from different camera angles. Then, he keeps an eye out for people who might match with the painting and contemplates how long it will take for that person to stand near the painting. Then he photographs them. “I can predict with a certain certainty if a person will be attracted to an artwork or not,” he says. “I usually don’t plan anything, I just let it happen.”

[Photo: Stefan Draschan]
Draschan’s work starts with seeing, and perhaps his series will inspire you to view your surroundings anew. “My ideas come out of observation,” he says. “The eyes, like everything, can be very well trained.” To see more, visit check out his site here.DB