Matthew Pillsbury


The outlines of the people in Matthew Pillsbury’s images seem to be ghostly memories or distant shadows. Crowds rolling through museums, passing art, pausing for a moment and hurrying on. It almost seems as if the photographer unceremoniously turned the tables.

We aren’t the ones observing art but turn out to be the observed. The Mona Lisa with her seemingly omniscient smile looks down on us silently, knowing and almost a bit amused by the fact that she has been doing this for so log and will be doing it for quite some time still. The people, however, rush from one sight to the next, never resting. And yet Pillsbury’s photographs radiate in some way an incredible peace. He doesn’t use additional lighting, but chooses long exposure times which can range from several minutes to hours. ‘In my photographs, I work to capture the experience of that time, both physically and psychologically. Each of the images in this series is an open-ended reflection of our complex and evolving relationships to technology, culture, and to each other.’ Pillsbury states.

All images © Matthew Pillsbury

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