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Garry Winogrand

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Andrew Sweigart holding the book

Introduction

To say I’m a fan of Garry Winogrand is putting it mildly. In my opinion, I believe his name is the one most synonymous with street photography. Not to diminish the exemplary work of all the other great street photographers, but damn it, ¬†Garry Winogrand was¬†street.

That being said, “Garry Winogrand”(Yale University/ San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art, 2013) is a long look at one of the greatest photographers of the twentieth century. And by long, I mean long. This beast of a book arrived at my doorstep weighing over six pounds and containing 448 pages. For a Winogrand fan it’s a must. For someone unfamiliar with him or street photography, it’s an excellent introduction to the genre and one if it’s pillars.

About Garry Winogrand

Garry Winogrand(1928-1984) was one of, if not the most prolific street photographers ever. He left behind over 35,000 prints, 22,000 contact sheets and over 40,000 color transparencies. He also left over 6,000 rolls of unprocessed film. Consider that for a few seconds. That’s an incredible amount of images. Now imagine going through that archive and the unprocessed rolls and putting on an exhibition. “Garry Winogrand”, in all it’s majesty, is the retrospective catalog accompanying the expansive exhibition that debuted at the San Francisco Museum Of Modern Art in 2013. It also made stops in Washington, DC, New York City, and just wrapped up at Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris.

Introduction

Although it’s been documented that Garry Winogrand was not a fan of the label “street photographer”, there is absolutely no doubt he was a master. His body of work speaks to this and will stand as a testament to it for all time. Winogrand considered himself simply a “photographer”. He didn’t attach any other adjective to the noun. But, and probably much to his dismay, we have to consider him one of the greatest street photographers of all time. And it can also be argued that he is the greatest ever. But photography or street photography is not a competition. It’s not about how many fantastic photos you produce, or how many exhibitions you have our how many books you publish. Photography, at it’s core is personal. It feeds a hunger to create. To document. To share. However, that being said, Winogrand not only satisfied his creative drive, but he did it in great volume and with great artistic vision and skill. The man was prolific and incredibly talented.