Peter Ydeen: Easton Nights

Since late 2015, cityscapes photographer Peter Ydeen has photographed Easton, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding area at night. These efforts have evolved into a monumental series, Easton Nights, capturing the ethereal beauty and unreal colors of a classic American city, transformed under the cover of darkness.

Starting with the images of George Tice’s elegant night shots in mind, he soon matured into much more than he bargained for. The night has its own visual rules, its color wheel, and its ethereal presence. City lighting is meant to illuminate objects in much the same way you would illuminate a still life or stage. Coupled with the pink light emitted by the strange sodium vapor streetlights, Easton becomes a silent city of illuminated stages, all in unreal colors and shadows. Each space acts as a reflection of the people who created it.
An empty geometry, with its decades of formation, creates an unusual living lyricism; emphasized with brushstrokes like diffractions, animated distortions, and the occasional painted words that connect to the moment of our time.

The project is both compelling and cathartic, and what began as an exercise has become an interaction with the silent shapes and exotic lights in this sometimes forgotten city.

Easton Nights is on display at Albright College – Freedman Art Gallery from 29 October to 25 November 2020.

About the Author

Peter Ydeen is primarily an Urban Landscape photographer currently living in Easton Pennsylvania and often traveling abroad. He works within the now established tenet of Urban Landscape Photography, which celebrates the complexity and beauty of the mundane world.

A portrait of Peter Ydeen

As the work progresses it has been taking on a more romantic quality, which uses the typical and ordinary as an impetus, but then adapting more ethereal qualities. His work looks for inspiration in the poetics of George Tice, the playful lyricism of Paul Klee, the eccentric energy of Charles Burchfield, all trying to set themselves within the romantic setting of an E.T.A. Hoffman tale.

The thrust of his work has been a night series “Easton Nights” however in the last few years he has also completed a smaller series, “Waiting for Palms” shot in Egypt and Morroco, and “Valley Days”, a series of daylight shots in the Lehigh Valley, and “Valley Days Rondels”, a subset of Valley Days done in a round format.

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