The Garry Winogrand exhibit at SFMOMA primed me for renewed efforts in street photography. The lecture by Tod Papageorge Thursday night before the opening of the exhibit provided intriguing behind the scenes insights. One that stuck in my mind was a quote by Winogrand equating the act of composing a photo with solving a puzzle. Seeing more than three decades of his work in one place brings into focus how serious he was about solving puzzles. He seemed to be trying to get some of the same pieces to fit together perfectly for 30+ years!
I found what could be a more fundamental artist statement on his Wikipedia page.
“Photography is not about the thing photographed. It is about how that thing looks photographed.”
Although I understand that he was transferring the importance of his photography away from the reality of the object that he used to generate the image, to what he planned to represent through his chosen medium, it seems obvious he was still chased by something in the reality of the scenes he captured over the years. Assuming it was an internal artistic battle, he sure did manage to manhandle the world into doing what he wanted it to do.
Here’s a very modest, suitably “grainy”, and hopeful acceptable attempt at a tribute to his Women are Beautiful series. I would convert it to B&W and try to match his style more closely, but copying the superficial aspects of Winogrand’s images just doesn’t work. Hope you like it in any case.