Saturday, August 28, 2010

Burtynsky goes to the Gulf

Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, who took the photo of the LA freeway system at the top of the right hand column and several others on the blog, has a new series of photos of the Gulf oil spill. The series, executed in large-scale digital c-prints, was captured this May and June when Burtynsky boarded a helicopter and took aerial shots of the burning Deepwater Horizon rig where the crisis — the worst marine oil spill in history — originated. An artist whose work has long been driven by deep-seated environmental concerns, Burtynsky's photos can be seen on the website of Toronto’s Nicholas Metivier Gallery (a preview of the exhibition opening on September 16).

Burtynsky has explored the theme of oil for more than a decade, from the Alberta oil sands to Baku, Azerbaijan, one of the earliest sites of oil discovery. These images are gathered in the book Burtynsky: Oil, and a previous blog about the Oil series, with links, is here. The show’s curator, Paul Roth writes in the accompanying book: “The subject is not oil. In these pictures, Edward Burtynsky shows the man-made world—the human ecosystem—that has risen up around the production, use, and dwindling availability of our paramount energy source.”

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