A show of pictures at the PhotoArt gallery gives viewers a chance to see the world “through the eyes” — and camera lens — of longtime Oklahoma City metro area photographer Doug Hoke.
Photographs in the exhibit range from details of vintage cars and pictures of people, plants, animals and objects, to blurred, impressionist distortions and studies of shadows.
Subjects in the first category include the stylized chrome lettering of a “Ford F100,” a gleaming Pontiac “Trunk” emblem, and close-up, tightly cropped photos of the bodies of a red “Corvette,” a red “Porsche” and the front of a red “Chevy.”
Meeting our gaze without blinking are the amber pupil of an all-seeing gray owl and the staring dark eyes of a cow serving as “The Lookout” for a herd of cattle, the rest of whom have their tails turned to us, nonchalantly.
A solitary figure taking a “Walk As the Sun Sets” with a horse is silhouetted dramatically on the horizon line, while the scarlet body and glistening wings of a “Dragonfly” stand out vividly in front of a hazy blue background.
Handled in a nearly abstract fashion are photos of such organic shapes as an “Orchid Column” and a red “Turk's Cap Bud,” as well as close-ups of a “Pansy Universe” and the odd, intimate world of a “Snap Dragon.”
In a somewhat similar manner, a red leaf floating on rippling water becomes an almost meditational object, and a table and four chairs, seen from overhead, can be viewed as a “Patio Pinwheel,” of sorts.
There is something nearly existential about a black-and-white “man against the elements” photograph of a dark-clad figure engaged in an “Uphill Battle” as he struggles through snow beside a daunting chain link fence.
The “Brick and Glass” of an old building also present a formidable barrier in Hoke's color photo of that title, as does the dark, twisted wire fence in which a peace symbol is entwined in his “Set Peace Free.”
Artful blurring adds to the impact of his color pictures of dancers at “Ballet Practice,” of an anonymous crowd at a “Concert,” and of tree branches that seem to be spinning overhead, making us “Dizzy.” Shadows of “Bottles” on a shelf have an understated, ghostly presence, and “Time” is represented by the reflection of a wall clock, under feet that seem suspended over it, in two other photos with an offbeat feel.
A 1980 photojournalism graduate of Central State University, now University of Central Oklahoma, in Edmond, Hoke is director of photography at The Oklahoman, where he has been employed for 36 years. He has also done freelance photographic work for Sports Illustrated, Business Week, Time, Working Woman, Entrepreneur and other publications.
— John Brandenburg
‘The Metro: Through the Eyes of Doug Hoke'
When: 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, through March 4.
Where: PhotoArt Gallery, 1738 NW 16.
Information: 557-0924 or www.