|Museo del Prado 7, Madrid, 2005, C-Print, 178 x 219 cm|
"I first started taking photographs of people in museums in the early 1990s. I went to the Prado in Madrid and was flabbergasted by one particular painting, Las Meninas by Velásquez. It was so close to my own interests. I thought: "Jesus Christ, why did nobody tell me about this?" And yet I never photographed it until 2005. I don't know why.
"When I went back to it, it marked a moment of evolution for me. I decided that I had to try something different: I had to stand inside the groups of viewers, creating a greater intimacy between the people viewing the painting and those depicted in it.
"I worked there for seven days, eight hours a day, and I noticed how the school groups stood very close to the picture, almost touching it with their elbows. I like the two guys [at the left] of this image, who look very sceptical about what the guide is saying about the painting. I find that funny. Evidently, they mistrust the situation. Perhaps they would rather have a beer."
- Thomas Struth