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LIQUID HISTORY
IN HIS PHOTOGRAPHS, GAYLORD OSCAR HERRON HAS DOCUMENTED THE LAST HALF-CENTURY OF TULSA’S LIFE.
MASON WHITEHORN POWELL

SINCE TAKING HIS first photographs in 1962, Gaylord Oscar Herron has communicated in a visual language equally balanced between people and the cities they inhabit. He describes this as being summoned to a picture, and this mindset lends a naturalness to his work that feels both fateful and inspired.

“Photographers are always accused of finding a picture, nailing it, making a print, and making it available—but they don’t find the picture, the picture finds them,” Herron says. “That’s the thing that I’ve realized recently. The picture is calling you to examine it, to engage with it, and then to maybe even record it, to be a watcher. To be a recorder of visual history, which is like liquid history, like a stream or a river running fast, you reach in and pull out a little drop. It’s as if the picture, the location, and the event come to you and demand that you accept them.”

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November/December 2019