Most of you will be familiar with the extraordinary talent that was Garry Winogrand, a street photographer renowned for his portrayal of mid-20th century America who died in 1984. Winogrand has been an enormous influence on subsequent generations of street photographers and there is now, understandably, a renewed interest in his work. Winogrand is very much associated with black and white street photography but a large body of colour work does exist from the period 1958-1964 but is very difficult to locate.
Single colour street images by Winogrand have tantalisingly appeared here and there, the first picture below from 1963 was published in Bystander but the subsequent images have largely never before been published as far as I am aware. So it is with great pleasure that I am able to present them here on sevensevennine.com.
In Bystander Joel Meyerowitz says that…
“Garry also shot a lot of color, but on assignment and on trips and things like that. He didn’t see it as a major force”
When I asked Joel to elaborate a little on what Garry’s relationship with colour was, this is what he said…
“Garry was comfortable with color and didn’t have any strong feelings against it. I think he used it mainly for his commercial work as he often carried a Nikon with a long lens on it to make what he called “schmaltz” which means in Yiddish, fatty, or sentimental, or sweet, overripe…etc. For example, violinists who play at weddings usually render “schmaltzy versions of love songs.” But he also was carrying a second Leica with color in it and he loved showing slide shows of that work, once even showing it at MoMA when John did a show of Garry’s work. My guess is that since the times didn’t support color printing very easily he simply didn’t see any reason to emphasize it then. perhaps if color printing was as it is today he would have been thinking in those terms more frequently, but who knows?”
Many thanks to those who assisted me in acquiring these images, I think it is historically important that they are available to excite and influence those of us continuing to work like Garry Winogrand today.
A Selection of Garry Winogrand’s Colour images can be seen at The QUAD Gallery at The Format International Photography Festival in Derby until the 8th May.