This is RoBERT McCLINTOCK.com

About the Artist

 ABOUT THE ARTIST

Robert’s short lived career in mod­el­ing on Ellis Island in New York City 1964. Some­body stuck a Brownie in his hand as a prop and it all came together. He dis­cov­ered he was on the wrong side of the cam­era! (Photo by Jon Abbott for Sears & Roe­buck)

Robert’s short lived career in mod­el­ing on Ellis Island in New York City 1964. Some­body stuck a Brownie in his hand as a prop and it all came together. He dis­cov­ered he was on the wrong side of the cam­era! (Photo by Jon Abbott for Sears & Roe­buck)

Robert McClin­tock was born in Brat­tle­boro, Ver­mont in 1958, the son of a hair­dresser, actor, artist, musi­cian, singer, dancer father and an Arthur Mur­ray dancer, fash­ion­ista mother from Brook­lyn, NY. His par­ents met in New York City and moved to Ver­mont in 1954. He grew up in Wilm­ing­ton, Ver­mont not far from the Mt Snow Ski Area where ski­ing was sec­ond nature to him. He has one older brother, Richard.

He grad­u­ated from Ver­mont Acad­emy in Sax­tons River then went off to the Uni­ver­sity of Ver­mont where every­one thought he’d eventually enroll in med­ical school, but after one year of the active col­lege party scene he dropped out and hit the open road and worked in the restau­rant busi­ness as a waiter and bar­tender for the next 15 years. 

He has always been attracted to the arts and espe­cially pho­tog­ra­phy, his family was very sup­port­ive. His grand­fa­ther was a seri­ous ama­teur pho­tog­ra­pher in New York City and two of his aunts were fash­ion photo styl­ists in Man­hat­tan in the 1960’s through the 1980’s. Every sum­mer he would go to New York and hang around at the stu­dios of big time fash­ion pho­tog­ra­phers Jon Abbott and Ray Kell­man load­ing their Has­sel­blads and grate­fully assist­ing the ladies under­wear photo shoots for Sears and Macy’s.

He was known in his small town of Wilmington as a budding photographer and built his first darkroom in a small bathroom. Robert actu­ally got his first pay­ing job shoot­ing head shots for a The Marlboro Summer The­ater Com­pany at the age of 16 and never looked back. People around town started calling him for little photo gigs and he liked the idea of making money doing the thing he loved.

The boy photographer with grandfather’s Leica IIIs

The boy photographer with grandfather’s Leica IIIs

After his brief college experience Robert found his way to Denver, Col­orado where he opened his first ware­house stu­dio. While working nights in the restaurants, he had an idea of painting with spray paint (not graffiti) where he experimented with large canvas using stencils and masks but soon drifted back to photography having dis­cov­ered manip­u­lated Polaroid Art in 1978. He tried liv­ing in Los Ange­les for a quick year (too big) then went back to Den­ver and finally returned to Ver­mont after his father’s death in 1985 . After 15 years work­ing in the restau­rant busi­ness he was burned out so he cleaned up his act and left it behind in 1988. He knew he could make a liv­ing in the arts so he declared him­self a “pro­fes­sional” pho­tog­ra­pher, he printed busi­ness cards and opened a small stu­dio on Main Street in Brat­tle­boro, Ver­mont which proved very suc­cess­ful and pro­vided on the job train­ing. Being a small town photographer he “spe­cial­ized ” in what­ever the next phone call asked for. He pho­tographed numer­ous babies, bands, head­shots, fam­ily por­traits and over 100 wed­dings. Even­tu­ally Robert evolved into stu­dio work in which he quickly proved his abil­ity, work­ing for over 12 years in adver­tis­ing and edi­to­r­ial work in the north­east and even­tu­ally in Wash­ing­ton DC and Baltimore.

He has always had a strong incli­na­tion towards the fine arts and is entirely self-taught. Start­ing 1978 while in Den­ver, McClintock’s art work mainly con­sisted of manip­u­lated and hand col­ored SX-70 Polaroid illus­tra­tions which even­tu­ally appeared in many national and regional mag­a­zines as well as gal­leries and shows in the U.S. In 1992, his work was accepted into the pres­ti­gious “Inter­na­tional Polaroid Col­lec­tion”, a tour­ing exhibit which fea­tures artists who use Polaroid products. Cur­rently his Polaroids are appear­ing at the Tokyo Met­ro­pol­i­tan Museum of Pho­tog­ra­phy and Boston’s Pho­to­graphic Resource Cen­ter (PRC) in the “Amer­i­can Per­spec­tives Exhibit”.

Workin’ it

Workin’ it

As dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy emerged as a new medium, McClin­tock became inter­ested early on. He pur­chased his first dig­i­tal cam­era (an Apple Quick­take 100) in 1996 and quickly got to work. He imme­di­ately enjoyed the truly instant grat­i­fi­ca­tion and spon­tane­ity while shoot­ing. Over the years he has shot with Nikon cam­eras, Coolpix 990, 995, the D100, D70 and cur­rently the Nikon D200, D300.

He has shot over 50,000 dig­i­tal pic­tures and cre­ated over 1000 “Photo-Digital Illus­tra­tions” wherein he paints and col­ors directly onto his pho­tographs in Adobe Pho­to­shop on Apple com­put­ers using a Wacom Tablet. He has two large format printers.

Robert is adamant that his work is not com­puter gen­er­ated and no stock pho­to­shop fil­ters are used. His expe­ri­ence with Pho­to­shop was not exten­sive but he learned quickly while free­lanc­ing at a busy dig­i­tal photo stu­dio in Bal­ti­more. After many hours of exper­i­ment­ing at the com­puter he devel­oped his dis­tinct and new style wherein each image is worked over by hand inch by inch as a tra­di­tional painter would do. His strong com­po­si­tion skills learned as a com­mer­cial pho­tog­ra­pher go a long way in mak­ing a great image.

In 1999 he began sell­ing his work at many local out­door street fairs and fes­ti­vals includ­ing Washington’s Eastern Market, Baltimore’s Artscape and The Fells Point Fes­ti­val, as a money mak­ing ven­ture and as a mar­ket test to see how the work would be received by the public.

His suc­cess in cap­tur­ing what the peo­ple wanted led him in 2002 to his open­ing a stu­dio and gallery in Baltimore’s his­toric Fed­eral Hill at 50 East Cross Street fea­tur­ing over 150 images from his “Bal­ti­more Seen Col­lec­tion” plus his unique Cat and Dog images. The retail gallery proved to be a suc­cess and led to an expan­sion to a sec­ond space on Charles Street. He kept the Cross Street gallery open as the “show­room” and the Charles St address turned into his work­ing stu­dio and pro­duc­tion space. As Robert’s col­lec­tion grew and with the new addi­tion of large can­vas pieces he again needed more space. Fed­eral Hill was a great loca­tion but he really needed to con­sol­i­date the two loca­tions and also expand.

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After a short search he found a great new loca­tion in Fell’s Point on the water­front which was actu­ally 10 times larger than the two Fed­eral Hill loca­tions. In April of 2006 he opened the new space at 1809 Thames Street near the Anne St wharf. The new space has proven to be a great move and has intro­duced his work to a much wider audi­ence both locally and to tourists vis­it­ing Bal­ti­more from all over the world.

In 2019 Robert closed the Fell’s Point Gallery after almost 14 years. He chose to take a step back from retail and opened a downsized studio/gallery in Hampden at The Mill Centre.

Robert lives with his wife Sue, their cat, Birdie and their pit mix, Super Lou, in Baltimore’s eclec­tic Charles Village.