google street view exhibition at saatchi gallery from amsterdam s prostitutes to seagulls taking over a road

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  • Canadian artist Jon Rafman spent hours at a time on Google Street View searching for oddball scenes
  • An exhibition of prints he made from the screengrabs is being staged at the Saatchi Gallery in West London

By Graham Smith

PUBLISHED: 06:54 EST, 26 July 2012 | UPDATED: 07:30 EST, 26 July 2012

Scantily-clad prostitutes touting for trade in Amsterdam are among the unusual scenes to feature in a new art exhibition.

They were captured going about their daily business by one of Google's international army of Street View cars.

Artist Jon Rafman, from Montreal, Canada, spent hours at a time on the website searching for oddball scenes.

Daily life: Scantily-clad prostitutes touting for trade in Amsterdam are among the unusual scenes to feature in a new art exhibition of Google Street View images

Daily life: Scantily-clad prostitutes touting for trade in Amsterdam are among the unusual scenes to feature in a new art exhibition of Google Street View images

Greetings: A group of teenagers in Belfast, Northern Ireland, let Google know exactly how they feel about being photographed

Greetings: A group of teenagers in Belfast, Northern Ireland, let Google know exactly how they feel about being photographed. Artist Artist Jon Rafman, from Montreal, Canada, spent hours at a time on the website searching for oddball scenes

Caught on camera: A scantily-clad woman emerges from a lorry cab in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda in Spain

Caught on camera: A scantily-clad woman emerges from a lorry cab in Santa Perpètua de Mogoda in Spain

Incoming: A flock of seagulls takes over a street in Matosinhos, Portugal

Incoming: A flock of seagulls takes over a street in Matosinhos, Portugal

And they're off: Three men use Segway personal transporters to get around Valencia, Spain

And they're off: Three men use Segway personal transporters to get around Valencia, Spain

He also found images of youths giving the finger to a Street View car; a van ablaze in Rio De Janeiro; a flock of seagulls on a residential street in Portugal; and a tank on a country road in the Netherlands.

Mr Rafman said: 'Often I search seven hours before I find anything.'

An exhibition of prints he has made from the Google Street View scenes is being staged at the Saatchi Gallery in West London and a book of his work has also been published.

Mr Rafman said: 'In 2008, a year after Google sent out an army of hybrid vehicles bearing nine cameras on a single pole to photograph the world, I began an exploration of this new virtual world.

Home, sweet home: A small cottage built into huge rocks in Finistere, France

Home, sweet home: A small cottage built into huge rocks in Finistere, France

Wheels on fire: A camper van sits ablaze on a street in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Wheels on fire: A camper van sits ablaze on a street in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Spring clean: A woman wipes her window shutters in Lombardy, Italy

Spring clean: A woman wipes her window shutters in Lombardy, Italy

Parked: A depot full of cherry pickers catches the eye in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Parked: A depot full of cherry pickers catches the eye in Rotterdam, Netherlands

Military vehicle: A tank cruises along a rural road in Wapserveen, Netherlands

Military vehicle: A tank cruises along a rural road in Wapserveen, Netherlands

'I was fascinated by how powerfully Street View photographs can represent our contemporary experience, the conflict they can express between an indifferent robotic camera and man’s search for connectedness and significance.

'The photos underscore the tension between an uncaring camera and man’s need to interpret his experience.

'While celebrating and critiquing modern experience, the technological tools themselves show how they can estrange us from ourselves.'

Stop and search: Police frisk three suspects in São Paulo, Brazil

Stop and search: Police frisk three suspects in São Paulo, Brazil

Tourist magnet: A sandy beach in Lisbon, Portugal

Tourist magnet: A sandy beach in Lisbon, Portugal

Unexpected: A butterfly hovers in front of a Google Street View camera in São Paulo, Brasil

Unexpected: A butterfly hovers in front of a Google Street View camera in São Paulo, Brasil

Crawl space: A seemingly unaccompanied baby makes a bid for independence on the streets of Taipei, Taiwan

Crawl space: A seemingly unaccompanied baby makes a bid for independence on the streets of Taipei, Taiwan

Cooling down: A Street View car cruises past an open fire hydrant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cooling down: A Street View car cruises past an open fire hydrant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Brave: A boy skateboard on his back down Chapman's Peak Drive in Western Cape, South Africa

Brave: A boy skateboard on his back down Chapman's Peak Drive in Western Cape, South Africa

A man struggles to control a horse on the Isle Of Lewis off the north-west coast of Scotland

A man struggles to control a horse on the Isle Of Lewis off the north-west coast of Scotland

Touting for business: Three prostitutes street walk in Granada, Spain

Touting for business: Three prostitutes street walk in Granada, Spain

On the loose: A deer runs amok in Finnmark, Norway

On the loose: A deer runs amok in Finnmark, Norway

Botched escape: A dog stuck in a fence in Tamaulipas, Mexico

Botched escape: A dog stuck in a fence in Tamaulipas, Mexico

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