Swedish photographer Alexander Dragunov has an eye for architecture. His undeniable muse is the Stockholm Subway. In some places it feels like a giant cave – or perhaps a Bond villain’s base. In others, it resembles a science-fiction space station. The Stockholm Subway and its 90 stations is considered to be the longest art gallery in the world (110 kilometers long, to be exact). Indeed, the stations of the Stockholm Metro are showcasing amazing cave-like underground artwork, featuring exposed rock forming the ceiling and walls of these man-made tunnels. These rock caverns are then painted bright, varied colors that create a wondrous underworld environment for Stockholm’s commuters.
Dragunov studies these rock contours carefully, setting up his camera and waiting for a brief moment of silence where he and the station are alone for only a moment. The resulting exposures are breathtaking, awe-inspiring and artful, the kind of thing which would make the perfect coffee table book.
And indeed, his collection of Stockholm Metro photography is now available in his coffee table book Tunnelbana. This book gives a view of 26 the most unique stations in the Stockholm metro. And the fact that they are absolutely empty adds very special mood to it.
Remember: The initial campaign to bring art to the Stockholm metro was launched in the 1950s, by artists Vera Nilsson and Siri Derkert. The first station to get a makeover was T-Centralen, in 1957, but surprisingly, its tiled designs still have an amazingly contemporary feel today.