Magenta Bloom, Fort Morgan, CO, 2014
In Plain Sight
In Plain Sight is an exhibition of captivating aerial images by Denver-based fine art photographer and pilot Evan Anderman. During the last three years, Anderman has taken hundreds of flights over parts of the American West few people visit: eastern Colorado, western Kansas, and rural Wyoming.
“At first, my intention was to capture the beauty in these less-traveled landscapes as I had in the past,” said Anderman, whose aerial photography earned him PDN’s Duggal Image Maker Award in 2013. “But it’s a different story now. Human activity is altering the land at a pace that is impossible for me to ignore.”
In Plain Sight reveals a bird’s eye view of feedlots packed with cows, fracking wells surrounded by semitrucks, vast wind farms, water treatment plants, gravel mines, and other human impacts that are hidden from everyday view.
“Part of my role as an artist is to shine a light on aspects of our society that people aren’t seeing,” Anderman said. “I think we’ve become disconnected from the reality that it takes a massive amount of infrastructure to support our desire to live in big houses and drive big cars. When you’re on the ground, it’s difficult to appreciate the scale of these operations or get access to them. But from the air, it’s all right there in plain sight.”
Valerie Santerli, owner and director of RULE, Denver’s long-running contemporary art gallery, helped guest curate the exhibition. “Evan’s images have a contemporary visual appeal that immediately draws you in before you realize what you’re looking at,” she said. “Thousands of tiny black dots are actually cows in a feedlot. Piles of silver toothpicks are massive wind turbine blades. Each image is meticulously composed, with exquisite attention to detail. His work can be viewed on multiple levels, which is why I find it so fascinating.”
Despite the political undertones some may perceive in Anderman’s work, he does not consider himself an activist.
“I’m an artist first, and I don’t try to be an expert in all the things I photograph,” Anderman said. “My hope that these images will help open peoples’ eyes to their surroundings and provide a springboard for discussion.”