Digital color photos of the natural world of “Osage County” are manipulated, just enough to give them an extra edge, in a show by Tulsa native Grant McClintock at the Oklahoma State Capitol.
“All the images have been manipulated, but that would hold true for everything I have printed since the late 1960s,” said the photographer who had a studio and gallery in New Orleans, and now lives in Osage County.
Particularly dramatic are his pictures of a ghostly gray-white “Horse,” and “Three Horses,” which seem to lean forward, almost into the viewer's space, catching the sun's rays under dark, threatening clouds.
Equally eye-catching is his photo of flames on a dark horizon, “Burning the Prairie” — a subject echoed in his pictures of blazes creating a “Fire Line,” burning near a “Fire Pond,” and about to consume a “Fire Tree.”
A round “Hay Bale” faces us, standing in for the circular disk of the sun, which appears to have just set, and an orange “Boundary” marker in a field seems arbitrary, in two more fine photos.
Even more arbitrary are four white “Gates,” which seem to frame space itself in the middle of farm fields. Expansive and nearly masterful, is his photo of a “Split Field,” with a herd of black cattle in yellow grass on one side of the fence, and an empty, rough-looking pasture on the other.
Blades of grass, flowers, weeds and other vegetation at “Creek Side” stand out vividly, due to the flat background that cuts off space behind them, in another excellent composition. A twisting stalk of serpentine red blossoms seems almost calligraphic, as if they were trying to “Escape,” from the field behind them, while “Frost” drains most of the color from his horizontal composition of that title.
More straightforward and pastoral are his photos of a cow silhouetted in front of “McCauley Lake” under giant, sunlit clouds; and of a single “Dead Tree,” surrounded by new growth, with a quiet body of water behind it.
Widely traveled, McClintock had two photography books on fishing in western and eastern rivers, called “Flywater” and “Watermark,” published in the 1990s.
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council, his show is recommended during its run. A reception is planned from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday.
— John Brandenburg