Photographer Takes Pictures of Famous Landmarks Turned Away from Them

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This post was selected for inclusion in our Future of Art and Work series in December 2016. The series, sponsored by Microsoft Surface, selects some of our best posts exploring the topics of how art and work will look in the 21st century. This post was originally published in July, 2016.

Photographer Oliver CurtisVolte-face series is an absurdist take on our culture’s obsession with photographing every single moment. Curtis takes pictures of the world’s most photographed historic sites, those buildings and monuments where tourists flock with iPhones in hand, and captures an image purposefully turned away from them. The photographs, which we first spotted on Facebook and Sad and Useless, were taken over a four-year period. According to PetaPixel, Curtis started the series after visiting the Pyramids of Giza and realizing he never looked at the “hidden side” of the historic site. See more of the world’s famous landmarks from the wrong side in our gallery.

©Oliver Curtis

Wailing Wall, Jerusalem

©Oliver Curtis

Mona Lisa, Musée du Louvre, Paris

©Oliver Curtis

Stonehenge, Wiltshire, England

©Oliver Curtis

White House, Washington, D.C.

©Oliver Curtis

Colosseum, Rome, Italy

©Oliver Curtis

Angel of Independence, Mexico City, Mexico

©Oliver Curtis

Great Wall of China

©Oliver Curtis

Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles, California

©Oliver Curtis

Buckingham Palace, City of Westminster, United Kingdom

©Oliver Curtis

Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

©Oliver Curtis

Mao Mausoleum, Tiananmen Square