Landmarks Layered into a Collective Memory

The Sydney Opera House

At first it seems like these images by Spanish photographer Pep Ventosa are very quickly sketched line drawings of highly visited tourist locations. However, don't be fooled! The Collective Snapshot is actually a series of photographs where images “blend together dozens of snapshots to create an abstraction of the places we've been and the things we've seen.” Ventosa transforms the familiarity of very popular and highly visited iconic landmarks around the world–including the Eiffel Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Stonehenge–into something fresh and contemporary. He challenges his viewers to look with a new perspective and to experience these noteworthy places in different ways.

The layers of snapshots form a hazy representation of memorable landmarks that we have seen so many times in photographs. Our memories fill in the gaps to understand Ventosa's composition. The artist himself says: “What grows is a unique new narrative space that never actually happened, where the whole has traveled mysteriously further than what the camera documented. Part memory, part imagination. Not unlike the way we see.” If you are interested, you can see a similar series involving spinning carousels here.

The Golden Gate

Il Ponte Vecchio

The Brooklyn Bridge

The Eiffel Tower

The Statue of Liberty

The Taj Mahal

The London Bus

The Louvre Pyramid

Tiananmen Square

The Palace of Westminster

The Colosseum


Twin Pagodas

The Brandenburg Gate

The Notre Dame Gargoyle

Pep Ventosa's website

Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content