The work of Daniel Shea (b. 1985, USA) presents a seductive and disconcerting world of concrete, steel and glass. His cityscapes are poetic and timeless, yet they address the very real effects of capitalism on the urban landscape – and society at large.
The title of his latest project 43-35 10th Street refers to his studio address in Long Island City: a residential neighbourhood in New York City that is rapidly gentrifying. However, Shea’s construction wastelands could have been (and in fact were) photographed anywhere in the world. Layering photographs from different times and places, the series transcends the local scale and addresses developments that affect cities globally.
Shea’s belief that the built environment profoundly affects society, and vice versa, also informs his own practice. He often lets his compositions bleed onto their mount, or etches architectural blueprints into the glass of the frame. This deliberate use of materials gives his work an almost sculptural quality and emphasises the incongruity between an imagined utopia, and a sometimes dystopian reality.
Daniel Shea is the winner of the 12th Foam Paul Huf Award, which is awarded annually by an international jury to talented photographers under the age of 35.