Daniel Beltrá: The Amazon

Opening: Friday, Mar 13, 2020 5 – 8 pm
Friday, Mar 13 – Jul 2, 2020

1637 W. Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622

Catherine Edelman Gallery is pleased to present The Amazon, our third exhibition by Spanish born photographer Daniel Beltrá. The show opens March 13 and runs through April 25, 2020. There will be an opening reception with the artist in attendance on Friday, March 13, from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Daniel Beltrá has spent the past thirty years witnessing human’s influence on the climate. Photographing from the air, he has documented everything from oil spills, to glacial melts, to droughts, to the effect of greenhouse gases. His commitment is extraordinary and has been acknowledged by both the conservation and art worlds, as he lays bare the undeniable reality of the climate crisis. The Amazon features fifteen photographs taken over a span of twenty years, alongside a photographic timeline describing his many adventures. 

The Amazon rainforest is a vital part of our ecosystem, covering more than 2 million square miles across nine countries. According to recent data, it is home to more than 390 billion trees, 2.5 million insect species, 40,000 plant species, 2000 birds, 2200 fishes, 1294 birds, 427 mammals, 428 amphibians, and 378 reptiles.* Prior to the 1970s, the forest remained relatively intact until the construction of the Trans-Amazonian Highway, which has yet to be completed. Nonetheless, access to the rainforest created opportunity for commerce, which in turn led to the discovery of fossil fuel. Deforestation, due to land development, logging, and drilling, has accounted for the loss of almost 20% of the rainforest. The fires in 2019 brought more destruction, creating an international outcry to protect the most biodiverse area on the planet. 

The Amazon features photographs of controlled burns, pristine canopies of untouched forests, and illegal logging. All images are taken from a small plane or helicopter, offering a unique perspective of the land’s fragility. The tenuous state of our ecosystems is a continuous thread throughout Daniel Beltrá’s work. By taking viewers to remote locations where human and nature conflict, Beltrá seeks to raise awareness about our effects on the planet through beautiful and haunting photographs. 

Daniel Beltrá [b. Madrid, Spain, 1964] is an award-winning photographer whose work has been published by most of the prominent international publications including The New Yorker, The National Geographic Society, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Le Monde, and El Pais. He has been honored with awards from the Prince Charles Rainforest Project, the Prix Pictet, and three world press photo awards, and is a fellow of the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers. He currently resides in Seattle, Washington with his wife and two cats. *Wikipedia.


Image: Daniel Beltrá, Amazon tree clearing (#200), 2013 © Daniel Beltrá / courtesy Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago