Two Redheads are featured in this image at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET). We see an anonymous patron observing Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s “Study Head of a Woman”.
There are photographers, like Stefan Draschan, who I admire — and envy. They spend hours with a camera in galleries and museums. Draschan’s purpose, like mine, is trying to capture museum-goers who closely match the pieces of art they’re looking at.
Similarly, famous street photographer Elliott Erwitt, has spent many years watching people who are observing the arts. In fact, in 1999, he published “Museum Watching” (Phaidon Press Limited). To paraphrase Mr. Erwitt, ‘museums provide visual achievements of history and art on canvas’. Erwitt is a dedicated people watcher who loves to see and photograph art and art watchers. “Blending with displays, spectators provide the human scale…which all makes fine hunting for a furtive photographer on the prowl”.
Likewise, I view street photography as a “people” safari and the MET, along with the NY MOMA, are excellent places to plan a hunt. They are often extremely crowded, as the MET was on this September 2018 day, so it can often be difficult to isolate one museum-goer observing a given work of art. While I always hope and even anticipate that the ideal individual will cross paths with a ‘picture-perfect’ painting, I was fortunate this day to capture two redheads at the MET.
I’ve been asked if some of my images are staged due to how close a match the visitor is to the art. The answer is a firm NO. I would never, nor could I ever, arrange such a shoot.
For more detailed information on my street photography, visit www.DavidKalbPhotography.com. One of the galleries includes images from art museums in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and New York. To learn more about the MET, visit www.metmuseum.org.