Oil by Edward Burtynsky, reviewed by Wayne Ford

Video walkthrough with Edward Burtynsky.

All the images above are iPad screen grabs.

"In 1997 I had what I refer to as my oil epiphany. It occurred to me that the vast, human-altered landscapes that I pursued and photographed for over twenty years were only made possible by the discovery of oil and the mechanical advantage of the internal combustion engine...These images can be seen as notations by one artist contemplating the world as it is made possible through this vital energy resource and the cumulative effects of industrial evolution."  Edward Burtynsky

Originally published by Steidl (2009) in print, Oil — which won the Deutscher Fotobuchpreis Silver Medal in 2010 — is the Canadian Edward Burtynsky’s visually powerful document of the production and consumption of ‘black gold,’ and it’s impact on our shared society, whilst also addressing it’s rising cost and it’s rapidly approaching end.

Format: App compatible with the iPad only.

Price: $9.99

Links: iTunes and Melcher Media

Comment: Over one hundred images from Burtynsky’s expansive survey that was recently shown at London’s The Photographers’ Gallery, are presented in a well thought out and designed format, that includes voice overs by the artist offering a personal perspective on 24 of the powerful images, where he describes how he made them, what they show, and how they fit into his narrative on oil; along with extensive essays by Michael Mitchell, William E. Rees and Paul Roth, and video walkthroughs with the artist of the exhibition staged at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto in 2011.


Content: 16/20

Design: 12/15

Value: 5/5

TOTAL: 33/40

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