Alex Maclean takes large scale photographs of both the everyday and the unique from a plane, providing a different perspective that often feels surreal. From such a great height a water park looks like a child’s playset and colourful shipping containers could be mistaken for blocks of Lego.
Maclean also captures the often bizarre parts of the US, such as a verdant golf course in the desert hills outside of Las Vegas and the haunting ‘boneyard’ of decommissioned and rusting B-52 bombers. He also highlights the vastness of the agricultural industry and the negative environmental impacts of mining – pit mine tailings almost look beautiful from a distance thus mirroring the unsettling dichotomy that Daniel Beltra captured with his images of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
What the artist captures best is the industrial background of the US with the endless streams of train cars loaded full of coal or the logjam of stored freight train carriages where a rusting segment stands out from its whiter companions.
Rather than making any socio-political statements, this set of over 40 works shows us the great depth of Maclean’s portfolio. The sheer diversity of the images prevents it from ever feeling stale or repetitive, making for a captivating and impressive exhibition.
Alex Maclean: Aerial Perspectives is on at Beetles + Huxley, 3-5 Swallow Street, W1B 4DE until 29 March. Entrance is free.