Jackson Hole photographer David Brookover has added new platinum and silver gelatin images to his collection; he continues to prioritize these two photographic methods and related materials. Brookover’s images are at once timelessly classic, and contemporary—-almost minimalist. I’ve spent time hanging around Brookover’s gallery, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that 99% of the people coming through, photographers or not, are instantly mesmerized by his work. Struck dumb. Once they get over being struck dumb, visitors have many questions about how Brookover is able to capture these images, where he learned his craft, what equipment he uses,….and ultimately, how can THEY shoot photographs like his?
“The Eternal Return,” a platinum, pictured above, was taken as the smoke from a controlled burn began to fill the valley’s skies. Choppy, dimensional river waters lead our eyes towards the Grand’s arrow-like silhouette. Check out the opposing “V’s'” of the receding tree line and the mountaintop. Brookover relates that when he took the photograph last fall, smoke was just starting to filter into view. The way it rose towards the clouds—already perfectly placed over the Tetons—was so atmospheric and beautifully textured that Brookover knew the moment was transcendent.
“Picasso Blinked,” a black and white silver gelatin, casts an eye towards Cubism and abstraction. Shaved, sculptural drifts surround a rock, creating the impression of an eye in the snow. Shot in Yellowstone, Brookover’s photograph delicately plays light and shadow, and a knife-edged crease in the snow suggests a brow and presence of another eye.
“I worked quite a while on that one,” Brookover says. I love the light and wanted to stay true to the concept of abstraction with this shot.”
Where does realism meet abstraction? For every artist, that question is addressed differently. At the heart of all truly great art, abstract or not, is deep comprehension of draftsmanship.