As I sat in front of Jackson photographer David Brookover’s giant iMac (the biggest screen I’ve ever seen!) every image he showed me impressed. Brookover rarely does anything small-scale, unless it’s due to a collector’s wish to purchase a print of more compact proportions. He happily accommodates, but it’s a rare event.
Brookover’s latest, stunning images are of Andulusian horses, those magnificent, “royal,” and relatively rare steeds of Spanish origin. Recently Brookover took an extended trip to Spain to visit several renowned Andalusian horse ranches. Brookover is captivated by their speed, size, proportions, spirit and how the horses’ manes and color change as they age; the arc of a horse’s neck. Often, as he photographed them, the horses ran directly at Brookover. He’s captured them at rest, in full and abandoned gallop, and each photograph is a distinct equine portrait. As I write this, Brookover’s Spain images aren’t yet hanging in the gallery, but his photographs of Andalusians in South Carolina are on view.
“I flew into Madrid and traveled all over Andalusia, Spain. I must have photographed at least 50 stallions. When the horses are out, they really want to run,” says Brookover. Pointing to one image, he describes the horse as being as svelt, fast and sleek as a greyhound.
“His skin, his coat looks wet, but it’s not—it reminded me of a seal’s skin,” recalls the photographer. Brookover encountered one animal that was “almost an albino,” a past world champion and very rare. Brookover photographed the horse against stacks of hay and against the weathered wall of 300-year old barn. Brookover’s ability to juxtapose and expose each texture can make one feel the hay in your hand, or a barn’s peeling white plaster.
Brookover took countless photographs, visiting 10 ranches with a translator, and each rancher welcomed Brookover. He will painstakenly edit them down to a selection of around five images to exhibit. This July he’ll do the printing, then frame the images up…and he has some extraordinary framing ideas brewing. Colors are saturated, printed on bamboo paper which allows for a rich image without it “hitting you in the face.”
“These horses are beautiful, and they know they’re beautiful,” says Brookover. “They were great. The most difficult thing was lighting and getting them to be still when they’re outside. Because when they’re out—-whoosh! They’re gone. These animals are gorgeous, and I can hardly wait to have the photographs up.”
Brookover’s gallery carries black and white, silver gelatin, platinum and his ever-popular color landscapes. In addition to the new Andalusian photographs, Brookover’s images of Yellowstone wildlife are not to be missed. Brookover’s aesthetic merges classic photographic technique with surprising, fresh images of our native species. www.brookovergallery.com
Saturday, July 13th, the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters and the Grand Teton Association’s “Artists in the Environment” merge. Plein air painters representing both groups will give a free plein air demonstration, 2-5:00 pm, at Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park. The event is free and open to the public~~and the views are spectacular. An informal Q&A with the artists will also take place. Artists are RMPAP President Stephen C. Datz, Kathryn Mapes Turner and Jeanne MacKenzie. www.rmpap.org www.grandtetonpark.org
“The sweetness of dogs (fifteen)
What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. Full tonight.
So we go
and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit,
I thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s
perfect beauty and also, oh! How rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up into
my face. As though I were
his perfect moon.” ~ Mary Oliver
Louie Christel~~~There will never be a sweeter, more perfect soul. We miss you so much, our hearts have big holes, and when we look at the moon, or remember you positioning yourself on the ottoman for a backrub, or surveying the hayfields, or following the UPS truck for a biscuit, or running with Jesse, or nudging at a rock shifting below the dock, or resting yourself in the shady, cool sand grasses, we will love you. Thank you for being in our lives.