Garry Winogrand (1928-1984)
January 14 1928 – March 19 1984
BiographyGarry Winogrand is viewed as one of the great American photographers of his generation. Early in the 1960’s, he started experimenting with visual effects and introduced a snapshot aesthetic into his work, using a pre-focused wide-angle lens on his 35mm Leica camera. In this way, he created a seemingly casual approach to art photography. Although he avoided looking through the viewer of the handheld camera, and by this means rejected standard forms of composition, he often tilted the device to add energy and intensity to the scene.
Winogrand had little interest in establishing a meaning ahead of time that his photographs would subsequently communicate. His aversion to the idea of pre-existing, non-photographic meanings comes through in his statement: “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.” Having taken his photographs, Winogrand would then appraise them in his studio, selecting for publication or display those that appeared to offer the most exciting material for interpretation. Winogrand also wanted viewers of his images to engage in such interpretative work, claiming that photographs offered up materials for a variety of visual experiences.