Daniel Kukla (b. 1983, USA)
Daniel Kukla’s photographic practice emerges at the rich, underexplored intersection between art and science. With an academic background in biology and anthropology, Kukla’s work is colored with concerns of environmental justice and species endangerment. The Brooklyn-based artist, who images explore a variety of settings including Joshua Tree, Alaska, Governors Island, and the Arctic tundra, has described his practice as “a calculated investigation” – a testament to his crisp, carefully staged images, laden with rich textures and tones.
Despite their natural settings, his works have a sense of theatricality, elevating and exoticizing the environment while simultaneously calling attention to the fissures in our imagination of the great outdoors. Indeed, Kukla’s images also capture falsifications of natural landscapes – most notably in his Captive Landscapes series, where he photographs the constructed spaces of zoos, highlighting moments where the illusions of nature falter and social realities begin to emerge.
His work has been exhibited in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, China, Lithuania, Malaysia, Singapore and Spain, and has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, On Earth Magazine, New York Post, and National Geographic.
Two of Kukla’s works are in our WALLS collection – Porcupine Wash (from the series The Edge Effect), 2012 and Glacial Termination (from the series Glacial Rebound), 2011.