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Review: Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable

Garry Winogrand was one of the masters of street photography. He spent decades roaming New York, and later Texas and California, freezing the moments that made statements about the time and place. He died in 1984, leaving behind thousands of unprocessed rolls of film and unprinted photographs. But his work starting in the 1960s had already secured his place in the photography canon, thanks in large part to MOMA curator John Szarkowski. Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable is a loving portrait of the man and his art, and a visual treat for street photography aficionados.

Born in the Bronx in 1928, Winogrand became a photographer while studying at Columbia to become a painter when he discovered the dark room was open 24 hours. He was a magazine photographer for years, but decided to go out on his own in the ’60s because he felt that his commercial work was missing the life of the city. And his photographs of the time paint a dizzying portrait of that era in New York. Various photographers weigh in on the meaning of those photographs, the framing, the light, the technique. He broke the rules, but created his own style, emulated later by many others. What is clear is that there was no separation between the man and his photographs. And he was prolific!

This is definitely a film aimed at the arty crowd. Even I had a hard time with some of the interviewees’ deconstructing the work in über art jargony terms. And a few of the things discussed with the ex-wife were TMI. But if you’re a photography lover and want to learn about one of the greats, I highly recommend Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable.

Read more about the man and the film here.

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