The Museum” : Candid Photography at its Finest

It is not the works of art but the visitors at one of the largest museums in Portugal that form the focus of this incredible new exhibition by Hermes Kondor at The Eye Arts.

Calouste Gulbenkian was a Portugal-based oil magnate who is known to play a major role in making the Middle East oil reserves available to a majority of the Western World. Apart from his oil business, Gulbenkian was one of the wealthiest persons in the world and a lover of the arts. After his death, he bequeathed his assets to the country of Portugal in the form of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation which now houses one of the largest private art collections around the globe displayed to the public at the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.

“The Museum” which forms the title of this incredible photo gallery is this Gulbenkian Museum at Lisbon. But Hermes Kondor has always been a photographer with a unique perspective on things. Instead of focusing on the art works displayed at the museum, Hermes brings to the fore visitors at this museum in his photography.

The Gulbenkian Museum receives thousands of visitors every day to view its incredible art collection. Hermes Kondor spent a few days at the museum himself, observing people and seeing how they react to the beautiful art works. The result is a brilliant collection of photographs that also serve as an interesting study of human expressions and reaction to art.

An the reception desk in the gallery, you will be able to find the entire collection of photographs taken by Hermes Kondor (including photographs not displayed here) in the form of a book titled “The Museum (The Visitors)”. In the foreword, Hermes writes, “The silence is deep, mystical, almost religious in all the Museum. It’s a place to see, not to talk. It’s a place of things to be seen and, silently, to be kept in memories. It’s a Temple of Culture.

Visitors to the museum can be seen doing just that in his brilliant photos. Some are seen taking a closer look at various sculptures and paintings, others are observing them from afar. Some are reading museum plates for information, others are discussing about the pieces in low voices. What makes this exhibition even more remarkable is the sense of familiarity we get with the expressions and reactions captured in the photographs. Hermes’ patience, dedication and hard work is evident in his works at “The Museum”.

Along with the exhibits, what matters equally is the ambience and there couldn’t have been a better fit for this exhibition. This display at The Eye Arts includes a collection of 24 black-and-white photographs which are brimming with character, expression and an artistic vision rarely seen within SL. The grey tones of the gallery walls complement the black-and-white photography perfectly. It is the first exhibition at The Eye Arts after the opening of its new gallery. The location is owned and curated by Wan Laryukov, who has done an incredible job with the setup of this new gallery. We hope to see many more exhibitions happening here soon.

“The Museum” by Hermes Kondor at The Eye Arts is open for viewing. Click HERE to visit this exhibition inworld.