February 2, 2010

Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky was one of my favourite photographers for a very long time.
He is a Canadian Industrial Landscape photographer.
I wrote a final essay in University on his Rock of Ages #1 photograph. We were allowed to pick any piece of contemporary art or photography and analyze the creativity out of it. The instant I saw Burtynsky's photography, I was hooked. After pages and pages of critiquing and over-analyzing the meaning and form of every line, shape and contrast, I still missed little details. His photographs are chaotic and exciting. They show the deconstruction of earth for the construction our world. He beautifies the unbeautiful. He makes the unnatural seem only natural. I am attracted to the machinery's movements, but repelled by what they represent. Every line and contour in Burtynsky's landscapes is created by humans. A beautiful silky black stream running along the shores at the shipyards is oil seeping into the seas. The repetitive, perfect geometrical details of his photographs draw me into the aesthetics of the artwork. Only after the overwhelming sensation subsides, do I realize that these beautifully crafted lines are machines, quarry cuts into the earth, mountains of tires or recycled metals, and intricate layers of oil refinery pipes connecting the work in harmonious repetition.

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