The Art of People Looking at Art

Monday October 08, 2018 Written by Ronan

When you see someone looking at something, it's hard not to be curious and cast your eyes in the same direction. There’s something contagious about it. (According to Science magazine, some researchers actually think the impulse might be hardwired into our DNA.)

Brisbane photojournalist Dean Swindell knows the sensation well. He recently visited the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and was struck by his own compulsion to watch people looking at the art around them.

He must have smuggled his camera inside, because he managed to capture the phenomenon on film. He called the series 5pm. No Umbrellas – a reference, presumably, to the gallery's closing time and one of the conditions of entry – though he just as easily could have called it 'Photos of the Backs of People's Heads Looking at Art'. On second thought, his title is probably better.

You can view the rest of Dean's series, and his other projects, photojournalism and live music photography, on his website.