Photographing Architectural Comfort and Alienation
Daniel Everett is a Utah based photographer with a BFA in photography and a master’s from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. However it was his internship during his undergrad degree with Edward Burtynsky that had the biggest influence on his career.
“If you know his work, Burtynsky photographs, like, manmade manipulations of the landscape: the largest open-pit copper mine, or the largest oil field. We were always traveling to some superlative location — the biggest, the widest, the greatest — and I got really interested in the in-between places that we passed through: the nondescript, transitory spaces like subway systems, airports, parking garages, and hotels. Spaces that are meant to be legible regardless of the language, and where the aesthetics are governed by function.”
There are other influences or parallels at work in Everett’s work, of course — he cites Walead Beshty and Thomas Demand, while we see hints of Thomas Struth and Adrian Gaut — but like any true artist, Everett synthesizes those influences into something startlingly beautiful and unique. His photographs are often high-contrast, predominantly neutral, anonymous landscapes with pops of primary colors, where the exact location the image was taken is less important than the feeling it might evoke. Where many photographers would cringe to create under the tyranny of fluorescent lights or overcast days, Everett embraces those conditions. “In general, I feel like lighting is too romantic or emotional or dramatic, and I’m interested in minimizing that.”
In general, Everett’s work grapples with big themes, like the comfort and clarity of architecture vs. its inherent alienation and reduction. But the beauty of his work lies in the way it isn’t alienating in the slightest.