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Δευτέρα, 27 Ιουνίου, 2022
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionCultureStefan Draschan and his bridge connecting different centuries

Stefan Draschan and his bridge connecting different centuries


By Panagiota Katsaveli,

A picture is definitely worth a thousand words! When we decide to dedicate a minute from our lives to take a photo, we simultaneously make the unconscious decision to have this moment engraved in time and our personal memory forever. The pictures we take capture a part of reality and carry sentimental value for moments that passed with a feeling of nostalgia. Photography, thus, manages to maintain connections and breaks the limits of time, by bringing together past and future. This is a concept that has made the photographer Stefan Draschan well-known around the globe since it is the essential principle behind one of his best photo collections.

Stefan Draschan is an Austrian photographer, who is based in Berlin. Draschan did not concern himself seriously with photography until 2013, when this pursuit functioned as a diversion for his mind in an attempt to quit smoking. In the past, he had experimented with many roles: studying history, co-owning a café-bar, journaling, teaching etc. None of these clicked for him as much as photography did and still does to this day. He started from taking iPhone pictures, until his brother decided to give him his very first camera as a present since it was apparent how talented he truly was. During his first steps in photography as a serious calling, he staunchly followed the work of Stephen Ellcock, an online curator of art history. This cult figure of the art world, as considered by many, worked as an inspiration and guide for him before he managed to establish his own identity in the creative field.

This very talented photographer did not wait long to discover his unique place and contribution to the artistic community, one which combined two of his favorite things. Specifically, Draschan is best known for his photography collection called “People Matching Artworks”, which blends together his passion for the art of photography as well as his love for museums. The title is quite self-explanatory to the content of the collection; thus, it contains pictures of happy coincidences of colour, form, pattern or style between museum visitors and exhibits. His visual eye creates exceptional perceptions of connections between objects, people and works of art that delight even the most skeptical spectator.

Image source: thestylemate.com

His occupation with this particular collection has changed Draschan’s view of art and the way he used to spend his time in museums. All the time he has spent in these impressive buildings has rendered him capable of a better understanding of the general layout of museums all over the European continent and he even goes as far as to predict the movements of the visitors inside them. While on the hunt for the perfect shot, he regularly has to follow his potential “victims” for the moment the constellation of his imagination takes place. A picture arises from instances when someone’s hair or clothes become an extension of the art hanging on the wall. However, we need to keep in mind that none of the pictures are orchestrated and it takes many hours, days, months, or years of dedication to come across these perfect matches. As the artist has stated, he prefers taking pictures of people in front of old works of art since finding a match with more contemporary ones seems less of a challenge. This way he manages to create bridges between centuries, different periods of time come together in harmony, the new and the old meet. Stefan’s series was also inspired by a theory of one of the founding directors of Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, Pontus Hultén, according to who a museum is not simply a place where artworks are conserved but a place where the visitors themselves become creative.

Draschan captured his first match in Berlin, and it was of a guy in front of a Georges Braque painting. The same instance repeated itself in Munich and Vienna. It did not take him long to realize that he was fascinated by these coincidences, hence his journey of actively seeking them out had just started its route! What is even more delightful for the photographer is being able to encounter the same visitors he has captured across a profane period of time, like spotting the same man in front of a C.F. Friedrich painting both in January 2016 and July 2018. To think that  before starting the collection Draschan intensely disliked seeing people in front of works of art since he felt it took away from his experience of viewing the pieces. This dislike has been turned now into a project of observation of one of the most mundane activities.

Image source: diyphotography.net

The talented photographer, who gained global recognition by his collection “People Matching Artworks”, has produced several other peculiar collections, creating a specific style for himself. Some other works of his include “Cars Matching Homes”, which follows the logic behind his museum collection, and “People Sleeping in Museums”, which came about from the many hours he spends in these artistic temples. As we all know, 2020 was a challenging year of the human population and it drastically altered our habits. In this light, Draschan was forced to stay home and was not allowed to visit his favourite museums after having dedicated more than 1.500 days of his life to them. This provided him with the opportunity to relax and reflect on the work he has already produced.

To conclude, Stefan Draschan is a contemporary artistic voice, who managed to become known by giving another unique perspective to the way we see works of art and the concept of time. The past is not a fixed entity, but it is fluid and it is always in the process of being shaped. One of the artist’s duties is to enrich it with their own interpretations and ideas and this is exactly what this Austrian photographer strives to do. His different pieces of work provide a different view of the past and bring it closer to today’s society, while inviting us to visit museums and make connections on our own!


References
  • Lenscratch, STEFAN DRASCHAN: PEOPLE MATCHING WITH ARTWORKS. Available here. 
  • Museum Bookstore, Interview with photographer Stefan Draschan. Available here.
  • Ignant, Stefan Draschan Captures Museum Visitors Who Accidentally Match The Artwork. Available here.

 

TA ΤΕΛΕΥΤΑΙΑ ΑΡΘΡΑ

Panagiota Katsaveli
She was born in 2001 and was raised in Kilkis. She was an undergraduate student in the department of English Language and Literature at AUTh. Her passions include learning foreign languages and travelling both inside the country and abroad. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies and reading literature.