Garry Winogrand

Se passarem por New York este Verão, não percam a grande retrospectiva do trabalho de Garry Winogrand, (1928-1984), um newyorker, um fotógrafo único, um mestre e uma referência da street photography.

Winogrand terá captado como ninguém a América dos anos 50 e 60, de Manhattan a Hollywood, do Bronx ao Texas, com as suas idiossincrasias, contradições, ansiedades e frustrações. Um fotógrafo  instintivo, directo, que fez da emergente middle class americana o objecto do seu olhar atento.

A exposição vai estar no Met, o Metropolitan Museum of Art entre 27 de Junho e 21 de Setembro.

A apresentação aqui fica, com a devida vénia ao The Guardian e os devidos créditos de autoria.

Texto: Jonathan Jones, The Guardian 
Imagens: All photographs © The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy of the Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.


Life is grotesque, funny, weird, beautiful, ­horrific, joyous and macabre. ­Photography is its perfect biographer, or should be. Light hits the lens and punches images of real people and places and moments through the aperture of memory. But how many photographs truly do justice to all that majestic strangeness?


Garry Winogrand’s pictures do. This dazzling American street ­photographer cut through the artifice of art and the portentousness of reportage to ­somehow, in a way rarely rivalled let alone equalled, snatch coruscating images of an ugly, lovely, hilarious raw reality out of the craziness of his times.

A couple dance at El Morocco, a hot New York nightclub in 1955. She throws her head back and opens her mouth wide to reveal all her teeth, in a laugh that seems insanely false. The man has his back to us. Is she ­nervous or scared of him? Why is her social performance so extreme?


Winogrand’s pictures are full of such gripping and mystifying moments. From a car in Los ­Angeles in 1964, a man turns to look at ­Winogrand. The moment is tense, for the surgical dressing on his nose suggests he’s no stranger to fights. Will he stop the car and get out to teach this intrusive street photographer a lesson?


Winogrand achieved his raw ­masterpieces by the bravest and most authentic means possible. He simply went around taking opportunistic shots of strangers. His art is exclusively human, uninterested in landscape for its own sake.


He often catches people off guard in disturbing, uneasy scenes. The relationship between a wealthy couple on a Manhattan sidewalk, she in ludicrous fur, seems fake through his brutal lens.


But Winogrand is different from Diane Arbus, who only ever photographed “freaks”, as the critic Susan Sontag put it. He did not go out ­looking solely for strangeness. A lot – perhaps all – of his pictures are ­celebratory. He did a series called Women are Beautiful.


His picture of JFK ­smiling among enthusiastic supporters is clearly not meant to be disturbing or alienated.


His image of a row of women resting at the New York World’s Fair is funny, human, touching. Perhaps more than any other photographer he ­documented the hopes as well as ­hysteria of 1960’s America.


After his death in 1984 about a third of a million undeveloped or unselected pictures, all taken in his last years, were found in his studio. He really did open his lens to the world, almost randomly, and from this onrush of images he published the ones that so haunt and shock and entertain and move us today.



Winogrand showed that the way photography can be great art is to be purely what it is.


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