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Burtynsky, Edward

Edward Burtynsky is a Canadian photographer known for his large-format images of natural environments altered by industry. His lens captures rivers that run fluorescent, mountains of detritus, and arid landscapes: vivid reminders of humanity’s impact on the planet in haunting aerial photographs. “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,” he has explained of his work. “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.” Born on February 22, 1955 in St. Catharines, Canada, he received his BAA in photography and media studies in 1982 from Ryerson University in Toronto. Like Nick Brandt, Burtynsky documents a world that is being irrevocably altered as seen in his many series of photographs, including Essential Elements and Manufactured Landscapes. Currently living and working in Toronto, Canada the artist’s works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

Birth year
1955