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Monday, 17 January 2011

Edward Burtynsky: Irreconcilable Emotions: Aerial Views of the Gulf Spill


Oil Spill #10, Oil Slick, May 12, 2010

A photo by  Edward Burtynsky of the BP oil spill

Oil Spill #9, Oil Slick at Rip Tide, May 12, 2010
Edward Burtynsky s photo of the BP oil spill

Oil Spill #1, REM Forza, Gulf of Mexico, May 12, 2010

All my photos try to carry the same ingredients. First, it's an interesting image to look at, what people call aesthetics or visually compelling composition. But once the viewer is in there and looking around, the subject itself should be more challenging. What is going on? In all my work I toggle between attraction and repulsion, working towards irreconcilable emotions. The photographs become more interesting then and enter the realm of art in a more compelling way.

I think this story reveals itself from the air. The whole water story has always been pushing me into the aerial view. With shapes and landscape around water, such as farming and irrigation, I can’t get away from it to see what’s I'm standing on when on a dirt road in farm country. But once I'm in air, these stories reveal themselves, that's where the visual language keeps recurring.

Edward Burtynsky: from an interview about his oil spill photos in digital journal, 18 September 2010

Edward Burtynsky photos courtesy Hasted Hunt Kraeutler, New York

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