Gallery Show – David Burdeny

Often I go to galleries to see photographic prints and I am usually less than impressed. Rarely am I blown away by the artist’s work and by the quality of the prints. Maybe I am just jaded because I see too much of the same old, same old cliched ‘fine art’ photography.

Recently I went to the Herringer Kiss Gallery in Calgary to see the work of lauded Vancouver photographer David Burdeny (gallery link) and in this case the artist not only lived up to the marketing hype, he surpassed it! This is a case where the images on the web do not even come minutely close to the the experience you get looking at the huge prints. I was stunned by the artistic vision and by the quality of the images in the gallery. 

David photographs using an 8×10 view camera and and the prints are chromogenic colour images with a  broad tonal range and rich detail. The content of the images is the edge where the urban and natural environment meet and the results are mesmerizing and mouth-watering and oh so memorable. Check David’s website for upcoming exibitions and go see his work in a gallery near you!

New Note: I just found out from Tim Parkin, see comments below, that David is at the heart of a big controversy about copying other people’s images. I was unaware of this when I saw the show the day it was being hung at the gallery. The gallery has pulled David’s show so it is no longer available to Calgary viewers. See Tim’s links below to see ll the hub-bub. Hmmm….

6 Responses to “Gallery Show – David Burdeny”

  1. Hey, you got me all excited to see an exhibition but there are NONE coming near me! How mean! Sure does look like an amazing artist🙂

  2. Thanks for the info, those iceberg shots are amazing. Wish I wouldn’t have missed that.

  3. Just wondering what your thoughts are on these. I was a big fan of Burdeny’s more modern work (ignoring his Kenna’esque pictures) until I bought a book of Elger Esser’s work. I then looked through the gallery and found that very similar iceberg work had been wideley advertised about a year before by Camille Seaman http://bit.ly/aNyjUG.

    Each picture on their own could be forgiven as ‘popular place’ and ‘inspired by…’ but given the whole range of pictures, things look a little sticky. In this context, even the drift portfolio looks like a cynical explotation of the yuppy desire for inoffensive modern art (if I’ve seen these horizontal smears one, I’ve seen them a thousand times. Oils, inks, collage, airbrusg, etc – is David saying anything extra).

    However, I have no doubt at all that David is a master craftsman, but I’m not sure he is an artist.

    http://bit.ly/cikTVI
    http://bit.ly/bLxLez

    • Is anyone out there really saying anything unique? Is it uniqueness that makes an artist? Is it about access to stuff other people can not get to or about who shot the subject first? Or is it about shooting familar subjects in a distinctive ‘style’?. Maybe Esser and Burdeny arrived at the same kind of content and the same style independantly without knowing about each other (just Like Wallace and Darwin did with the Theory of Evolution). Or maybe one was influenced by the other. or maybe one was deliberatly copying another. I do not know and many can speculate. It is rare for there to be someone so distinctive that they stand out as the archetype. Fine art photography , like all other types of photography, suffers from fads, copycatism, and incestuousness. For my eyes tired of the predicatable landscape photography, Burdeny’s work was refreshing. For me it was art, and art is in the eye of the beholder. Thanks for the links, when stakes are high and you sell prints for this much money then things are going to get pointed when work looks similar. I was unaware of the controversy.

      There are a million shots of Moraine Lake, and Niagara Falls, and Delicate Arch that all look the same, is it copycatism or is it the subject that just looks best when photographed a certian way? Can anyone claim to have THE photo of any of these icons?

  4. I looked more into the controversy and let’s just say, things are looking ‘interesting’. Thanks Tim for pointing this out… I had no idea! Darwin

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