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Alex MacLean: Aerial Perspectives

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‘The Jolly Roger, Ocean City Amusement Park, Maryland, USA’, 2011

© Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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'Marias River Drainage and Pivot Irrigator, Loma Area, Montana, USA'

© Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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'B-52, 'Bone Yard', Tuscon, Arizona, USA'

©Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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'Bay Channel, Fremont, California, USA', 1984

© Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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'Flower Fields, Lompoc, California, USA', 2013

© Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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‘Dinghies Clustered around Dock, Duxbury, Massachusetts, USA’, 1993

© Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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‘Over Ramps, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA’, 2008

© Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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'Bathers in Wave Pool, Orlando, Florida, USA', 1999

©Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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‘Housing Development II, Beaverton, Oregon, USA’, 2005

© Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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'Floating Daisy Docks, Chicago, Illinois, USA', 1990

© Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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‘Desert Housing Block, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA’, 2009

© Alex MacLean, courtesy Beetles+Huxley

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Expansive European and American vistas are reduced to perplexingly detailed images by this remarkable aerial photographer who uses a Cessna 182 carbon fibre aeroplane to get the perfect birds eye view of the world.

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Curated London

American photographer Alex Maclean trained as an architect before obtaining his pilot’s license to take aerial photos. He worked for other architects, community planners and environmentalists before establishing his artistic practice. The result of this latter endeavour can be seen in this excellent exhibition at Beetles + Huxley.


Documenting man’s impact on the natural world, Maclean gives a rare perspective on the world. Comparisons can easily be drawn withEdward Burtynsky, as both artists use the stark geometry of human intervention to create remarkable images. Colourful mining operations, logistics and aeroplanes in the desert make for familiar, but not unwelcome, subjects.


What sets Maclean apart is his depth of field; rather than the objective bird’s eye view, the artist often shoots at a shallower angle, giving a more human view of the unfolding landscape. His coverage of simple leisure pursuits - waterparks and beaches - is joyful. Set in poignant contrast are the photos of our environmentally damaging efforts to build golf courses in the Nevada desert. 


For more art in plain English, check out http://www.curatedlondon.co.uk