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Masters of street photography Masters of street photography

Written and researched by Carlo Traina

THE MASTERS OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY Garry Winogrand

Garry Winogrand
(New York, 14.01.1928 – Tijuana, 19.03.1984)
“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed”.

“Consider Garry Winogrand’s picture: so rich in fact and suggestion, and so justly resolved, more complex and more beautiful than the movie that Alfred Hitchcock might derive from it.”
(from “Looking at Photographs” by John Szarkowski)

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Garry Winogrand is one of  the “giants” of  the Post-War Amerian Street Photography . Together with “legends” like  Alfred Stieglitz , Henry Cartier Bresson , Elliott Erwitt , Robert Doisneau , and so on , he is considered one of the founders of Street Photography.

His shots have immortalized the everyday life in the American metropolis in the ‘60 and ‘70 . After studying painting and photojournalism , Winogrand was quite impressed by the social photography of Walker Evans and Robert Frank . His final goal was to represent the American society through the moods , the faces, the behaviours and the everyday situations of the common people and of the society (political and cultural events, protest demonstrations and social events). For this reason he liked to shoot going on the street without any previous plan , using a quick rangefinder camera and wide-angle lenses with manual focusing. When shooting he often tilted the lens upwards, with shoots literally taken from the hip . Between the end of the ‘60 and the beginning of the ‘70 , Winogrand went everyday on the streets of New York with his Leica M4.  The photographer Joel Meyerowitz , that was often with him , so describes him during such days : “Garry set a tempo on the street so strong that it was impossible not to follow it. It was like jazz. You just had to get in the same groove.” Winogrand  “Street Photography” is an introspective, thoughtful, intimate but also ironic way to look at the American society which before had never been paid much attention. He was , without any doubt , one of the most prolific photographers of his times (he has taken over 5 millions photos) and one of the more passionate. However, he despised the term “Street Photographer”: he simply considered himself as a “photographer” , and he was more interested in taking photos than being classified by the critics and the art historians.

Winogrand died at the age of 56 , but he has left behind a huge archive of 300.000 images , most of which never developed . Some of these were collected , exposed and published by the MOMA museum in a volume titled “ Wimogrand , Figments from the Real World”

Awards : Three Gugghenheim Fellowship Awards (19641969 and 1979) and one National Endowment of the Arts Award (1979).

Portfolio:

ü  The Animals (1969), a significant collection of images taken at the Bronx Zoo and the Aquarium in Coney Island,

ü  Women are beautiful (1975), tribute to female beauty in different places and situations,

ü  Public relations (1977), in which he devoted his attention to the resonance of the media on people’s reactions,

ü  Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and Rodeo (1980).Written and researched by Carlo Traina

THE MASTERS OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY Garry Winogrand

Garry Winogrand
(New York, 14.01.1928 – Tijuana, 19.03.1984)

“La fotografia non è cosa si fotografa, ma ciò che appare al fotografo”.

“Consider Garry Winogrand’s picture: so rich in fact and suggestion, and so justly resolved, more complex and more beautiful than the movie that Alfred Hitchcock might derive from it.”
(from “Looking at Photographs” by John Szarkowski)

garry-winogrand-3

Garry Winogrand è uno dei giganti della Street  photography americana del dopoguerra. Insieme ai “mostri sacri” Alfred Stieglitz, Henry Cartier Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Doisneau, ecc., viene considerato uno dei promotori della Street Photography.

 

Le sue fotografie hanno immortalato la vita di tutti i giorni delle metropoli americane degli anni 60-70.

 

Dopo gli studi di pittura e fotogiornalismo, Winogrand rimane molto impressionato dalla fotografia sociale di Walker Evans e Robert Frank. Il suo scopo è quello di fotografare la società americana attraverso gli stati d’animo, i volti, gli atteggiamenti e le “situazioni” giornaliere della gente comune e della società (eventi politici e culturali, manifestazioni di protesta, eventi mondani). Per questo ama fotografare scendendo nelle strade senza progettare prima, usando una macchina fotografica rapida a telemetro e lenti grandangolari con messa a fuoco manuale.

Nei suoi scatti spesso inclina la lente verso l’alto, con riprese fatte letteralmente dal fianco.

 

Tra la fine degli anni 60 ed i primi anni 70, Winogrand va con la sua Leica M4 nelle strade di New York ogni giorno. Il fotografo Joel Meyerowitz, che spesso lo accompagna, così descrive quelle giornate: “Garry imposta la sua camminata con un ritmo così forte che é impossibile non seguirlo. E’ come il jazz: basta entrare nello stesso solco.”

 

La street photography di Winogrand è un modo introspettivo, riflessivo, intimo ma anche ironico di guardare la società americana cui non si era mai prestata molta attenzione.

 

Egli è stato senza dubbio uno dei fotografi di strada più prolifici del suo tempo (ha scattato più di 5 milioni di fotografie) ed uno dei più appassionati. Tuttavia, odiava il termine “fotografo di strada”: semplicemente vedeva se stesso come un “fotografo”, ed era più interessato a fare fotografie che a farsi classificare dai critici e dagli storici dell’arte.

 

Winogrand è morto all’età di 56 anni, ma ha lasciato inedito un enorme archivio di 300.000 immagini, molte delle quali mai sviluppate. Alcune di queste vennero raccolte, esposte e pubblicate dal MOMA in un volume dal titolo Winogrand, Figments from the Real World.

 

Premi: tre Gugghenheim Fellowship Awards (19641969 e 1979) e un National Endowment of the Arts Award (1979).

Portfolio:

ü  The Animals (1969), una raccolta di significative immagini scattate allo zoo del Bronx e all’acquario di Coney Island,

ü  Women are beautiful (1975), omaggio alla bellezza femminile in luoghi e situazioni differenti,

ü  Public relations (1977), in cui dedicò la sua attenzione alla risonanza dei media sulle reazioni della gente,

ü  Fort Worth Fat Stock Show and Rodeo (1980).

 

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