Garry Winogrand

garry-winogrand-coney-island-new-york-ca-1952-web“Yesterday morning I decided to do something about the pile of film negatives that I had gathering on the shelf in my little hidey cupboard.*  Months ago I had filled up my last folder, so ever since, the pile of negatives not filed has been slowly growing higher.  (in sleeves – I’m not THAT slack).  I took the wrapper of the new Albox storage folder that I had bought the week before and started filing away.

As I was slowly looking through those sleeves of negatives as I filed them, it dawned on me.  I have a very slight case of Winogranditis.

OK, you’re probably thinking.  What is Winogranditis?

Garry Winogrand, one of the photographers in my top 5 of all time list, was a prolific street photographer from the 50’s through to his death in 1984.  After his death, his estate discovered 2500 rolls of exposed, but unprocessed film plus 6500 rolls of processed but unproofed film.  As I said, he was prolific!

While I am certainly no-where near the stage of Garry Winogrand, it has become apparent to myself that the more I take, the more I just file away to look at later.  Is this a dangerous thing?  For me, yes, I think it is.  I enjoy looking at photographs.  I enjoy making prints.  I enjoy seeing in full view, the vision I had as a glimpse, days/weeks/months/years ago.

I now have to ask myself, why did I get into this position? Yes, like many, at times I do find myself a bit time poor, but I also find myself saying “bah, I’ll have a look at that tomorrow”.

Q—Ashley – who are the other 4 in your top 5?

A—Now you have put me on the spot:

  • Stephen Shore
  • Joel Myerwitz
  • Cindy Sherman
  • Margret Bourke-White

Actually, it’s quite hard to just limit it to 4.  I could have also added Mark Pedlar, Chris Schultz, Helen Whitford, Matt Carr….. 😉

Thanks Ashley.

The Wikipedia Entry – Edited

Garry Winogrand (14 January 1928 – 19 March 1984) was a street photographer from the Bronx, New York, known for his portrayal of American life, and its social issues, in the mid-20th century. He received three Guggenheim Fellowships to work on personal projects, a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and published four books during his lifetime. He was one of three photographers featured in the influential New Documents exhibition at Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1967.

Photography curator, historian, and critic John Szarkowski called Winogrand the central photographer of his generation. Critic Sean O’Hagan, writing in The Guardian in 2014, said “In the 1960s and 70s, he defined street photography as an attitude as well as a style.

Phil Coomes, writing for BBC News in 2013, said “For those of us interested in street photography there are a few names that stand out and one of those is Garry Winogrand, whose pictures of New York in the 1960s are a photographic lesson in every frame.”

At the time of his death Winogrand’s late work remained undeveloped, with about 2,500 rolls of undeveloped film, 6,500 rolls of developed but not proofed exposures, and about 3,000 rolls only realised as far as contact sheets being made.

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