Photography and Surrealism by Tulsa 
photographer Michael McRuiz

Honored by the National Park Service and Photographer’s Forum magazine, Tulsa photographer Michael McRuiz combines nature and surrealism to create beautiful and mystical images. “I love shooting and creating art because it is magic,” said McRuiz. “The digital arts have opened a new vista for me, allowing me to create images and scenarios that were difficult or impossible in the analog world.”

McRuiz became interested in photography while attending The University of Tulsa as an art student majoring in painting. “I find that the two disciplines complement each other nicely. I am in good company as there are many photographers who began their careers as painters,” said McRuiz. “I am largely a self-taught photographer but benefitted from many workshops including one with famed photographer Jay Maisel.”

“My favorite photographer is Ernst Haas who began his career as a painter before becoming a photographer,” McRuiz said. “He described himself as ‘a painter in a hurry,’ which resonates with me. He was a master in all forms of photography and was very innovative in his use of color and motion.”

After working as a photojournalist at the Tulsa World shooting critical events including the Murrah Building bombing in Oklahoma City, McRuiz became an assistant professor of digital media at Tulsa Community College where he has been teaching and inspiring students for 17 years.

McRuiz’s work has been displayed in exhibitions and galleries including the Allen Street Gallery in Dallas, the Arts & Humanities Council Hardesty Arts Center, Joseph Gierek Gallery, Living Arts, Tulsa Performing Arts Center Gallery and the Tulsa Artists Coalition gallery. His exhibition work includes a range of imagery from several collections including Deus Ex Machina, War Machines and The Natural World Personified which began in 2007 and continues through today with images from the West and Northwestern U.S., Iceland and Alaska.

Most of his works for sale are printed in large format on aluminum. McRuiz also makes his images available on polyester film and inkjet prints which are then matted and framed. To see more of McRuiz’s work, visit his site at