Thursday, March 19, 2009

Edward Burtynsky

Have you ever seen photographs by Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky?


Edward Burtynsky, Nickel Tailings #39, Sudbury, Ontario, 1996

Edward Burtynsky, VMC 52


Edward Burtynsky, Nickel Tailings #36, Sudbury, Ontario, 1996

Edward Burtynsky, Super Pit #1, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, 2007


Edward Burtynsky, Rock of Ages #12, Abandoned Granite Section, Adam-Pirie Quarry, Barre, Vermont, 1991-2004

Edward Burtynsky, Oxford Tire Pile #9, 1999

Edward Burtynsky, Silver Lake Operations #1, Lake Lefroy, Australia, 2007

Edward Burtynsky, Uranium Tailings #12, Elliot Lake, Ontario, 1995

Edward Burtynsky, Densfield Oil Drums #4, Hamilton, Ontario, 1997

Edward Burtynsky's Artist Statement, taken from his website:

Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.

These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire - a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times.


If you are interested in his work, I would recommend checking out this DVD (I watched it twice in a row, back-to-back, and I never do that kind of thing):
Manufactured Landscapes (US Edition)

or this book: Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky

28 comments:

...love Maegan said...

omG....so amazing.

jennifer from pittsburgh said...

Striking work! Actually, more than striking, shattering.

Improbable Joe said...

For some reason, it all looks like something out of a video game... in a good way.

Jake Hammell said...

I've never seen tailings ponds look so cool. Like lava flows (which essentially they are). He really managed to make something people normally turn their heads and ignore when the drive by them into a beautiful picture with a story to tell.

Except for the uranium one. That stuff's nasty.

Pretty Little World said...

These photos are really stunning! I want to wander around that granite quarry and those huge piles of tires!

I feel as though I could look at one of these for hours and still not see everything. Perfection.

please sir said...

I haven't seen these before - they are quite amazing!

Rebecca said...

Amazing stuff! Thanks for sharing these awesome pics!

Shey said...

Awesome post! Breathtaking.

Blogalicious Designs said...

prob some of the most amazing pics ive seen!!

E.K. said...

I haven't heard of him. These are incredible!

The Cottage Cheese said...

His work is beautiful, and really eye-opening. Oh how we have damaged our poor planet.

boylerpf said...

Amazing work! Very surreal.

sexypoet said...

these photographs are really spectacular.

between you and sara, i am learning so much about all types of art and i love it!

Dooder City said...

These are really amazing. In January I started my subscription to National Geographic and my favorite articles are about land depletion - where for example oil companies with ruin Canada's land and forrests all for the benefit of money and oil. These photos reminded me of it. I read that it takes I think 50 tons of land to produce 1 gram of gold! how sad, right? It really makes me think twice about a lot of things.

It's Just Me said...

he shouldn't make it look so pretty.... cuz it isn't really is it?

Kierstin Bridger said...

Love his work- It looks so abstract at first glance-the perspective is looks like a close-up- and then you see that it is a verge large scale scene.
amazing colors/textures.
I think ugly is beautiful if seen through a cabable artist's lens.
Thanks for the intro!

Kellie said...

Those photos are incredible! I never have seen trash (in some of them) look so beautiful! Love them all!

thereddeer said...

Amazing images.

Awesome Sara said...

Stunning. I feel like that lava right now.

one little simitopian said...

Wow. I must echo the sentiments of Dooder City (hehe. "dooder") up there. It's a bit of a wakeup call really. I'd definitely be interested in checking out that dvd.
Thanks drollgirl!

Felicia said...

Wow, awesome! I definitely will check out that doc.

Diana said...

oh my word!! this is amazing!!

K.Line said...

Manufactured Landscapes is one of my husband's favourite films. I have to be honest, I thought it was sooooo drab. But these photos are beautiful!

Emz said...

Those are so great! They remind me of um, the recent National Geographic column on Alberta I think? How they're now mining the oil fields. The photos are terrifying and awesome at the same time!

Magic Pants Jones said...

These are gorgeous and depressing at the same time. What a wonderful dichotomy!

The Seeker said...

OMG... words failing.... so beautiful

xoxo

creative kerfuffle said...

i love that he finds beauty in things most would never see beauty in.

Sasha said...

thanks for sharing such a talented artist!