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Bryan Natinsky | Photographer

Artmuse is excited to showcase the work of photographer and architect Bryan Natinsky, highlighting his landscapes of Mount St. Helens, and the intriguing architecture of Barcelona. Bryan grew up in Detroit, Michigan, but has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and all over the United States. His undergraduate studies were in fine art and philosophy at the University of Michigan. “For six years before returning to graduate school to study architecture, I traveled and worked throughout Europe and Asia as a graphic designer, writer, English teacher; studied mandarin in Beijing; and painted.”

His rediscovery of photography came while studying for his Master of Architecture at Yale, when taking classes with who he calls “incredible” photographers at the Yale School of Art. He has been taking photographs consistently since then, while also working as an architect. These two distinct talents harmonize perfectly in his work.

What interests Bryan the most in the artwork he has been making since his return to photography is the ability of a photograph to capture something beautiful in the most banal landscape or moment. “I am particularly drawn to the places that constitute most people’s everyday lives. The landscapes that we have become so familiar with that it no longer registers as we pass through it on our way to somewhere else; the suburb, office park, or empty lot.” He also says that these can be some of the most challenging photographs to capture. Although work and family, most importantly his ten month old daughter, prevent Bryan from traveling too far from home very often, he is always drawn to the same types of residential neighborhoods whether here or abroad. “These are simply the landscapes that I find most revealing about a people or culture and the places where I find the most interesting photographs.”

The photographs from Mount St. Helens in 2000 that is featuring were taken in the blast zone of the eruption which had occurred twenty years before in 1980. Bryan says, “It was one of the most incredible landscapes that I have ever seen, left completely untouched since the eruption as a laboratory demonstrating how a devastated area recovers after a catastrophe”. The photograph Mt. St. Helens 2 was taken at Silver lake, at the base of the volcano, which is still partially covered by logs that washed into the lake at the time of the eruption, still floating there today.

The photographs from Barcelona were taken in 2007 in an area outside the city center that has been redeveloped as parks, new housing, convention centers and an industrial zone. “The scale of new development and the quality of its architecture was impressive, but also completely unpopulated, at least in 2007. It appeared to be a stage set for some futuristic post-apocalyptic film, abandoned after the production finished.”

Finding his inspiration for his work all around him, all the time, Bryan says “it strikes me as I move through the city whether I am focused on taking photographs or just on my way to the office”. One of the best things about living in New York, he says, “is the endless opportunities to see great art”. Also inspiring to him are the works of other artists.

Whether drawing, painting or photography, Bryan has always made art for himself, because he says “I enjoy it and it keeps me centered and sane”. He does not have a specific audience or viewer in mind when behind the camera, but hopes his photographs “make people reexamine the places that they inhabit and no longer truly see”.

written by Jennifer Shaver

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