During the sixties there was a change in attitudes among women based on a thorough exercise of freedom from the inside and out. The photographic lens of Garry Winogrand caught this social transformation and, for a decade, he built a unique, unpublished document that immortalized this energetic change. The so-called “Prince of the Streets” won the title thanks to his exhaustive journey capturing the attitudes of women in their daily lives. The attitudes of these women took form.
Garry Winogrand doesn’t follow the norms of composition. The photographer again and again defies the basic teachings of the alleged ”formal appearance of a work of art” and becomes the master of the moment. There are many reasons why Winogrand is considered an heir of Robert Frank’s aesthetic impact. This deliberate loss of the balance is what Robert Frank talked about in his famous words: “something can seem so small in a photograph but still be the most important thing“. This metaphorical framework is nothing more than a chaotic experience of reality itself. In short, Winogrand captures all the details that are natural and give meaning to the representation. The city is the preferred scenario of Winogrand. In it, with its buildings, sidewalks, traffic lights and people, the limits of human scale are tested
Women are beautiful came in 1975. Until then the efforts of Winogrand went to photographing women everywhere: in pools, cafés, at parties and especially in the streets of New York. Fleeing from nude poses and studio portraits, Winogrand explores how women express their sexuality through their clothing, hairstyles, their gestures, laughter and whispers. One of the most famous images depicts a woman in the midst of a hilarious laugh, with an ice cream cone, facing a shop window with a mannequin bust. It reminds you of the work of Atget in the early twentieth century.
They have written about Winogrand that “his love of life is stronger than his interest in art and this result in a confrontation with the comedy of our times through his photographs“. Hi photos don’t merely emerge as a superficial rehearsal of the new types of beauty; they are a social reflection of the counterculture, the demonstrations for women’s freedom. However, his aesthetic character is undeniably caused by beautiful women without complexes, sure of themselves, consequent in the new stage of American splendour.
Garry Winogrand is present in all collections of major museums: from the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) to the Tate and the Pompidou. The biased and cold style of Winogrand is associated with Abstract Expressionism and its sharp diagonals are similar to the brush strokes of those years. Winogrand captures life and its transformations, takes pleasure in what he portrays, in his images. His women are lively, secure, happy, uninhibited women who do what they want and that freedom makes them more charming. It is the time when women rebel against the dictatorship of ”what people may say”.
If Robert Frank was the most important photographer of the 50’s, Garry Winogrand is one of the most important ones of the 60′s, and the artist of his time.