In order to gain a deeper appreciation and grasp on the impact urban design can have on people’s, and more specifically in this case, women’s behaviour in the public realm I have looked further back to the 19th century to a time when the modern city as we know it was in its early stages of conception and women had been given a newfound leash of freedom in society. The studies of Elizabeth Wilson in particular offer us an idea of how women’s role in the city has developed since this period and how their public persona has altered in an effort to adjust. By doing this I hope to unlock a new understanding on the work of Winogrand and his series of images in which women are the primary subject. This in turn may help us to identify what it was about a partiuclar moment which merited his attention.
Finally I will look at ‘street photography’ and the understanding of the term in a contemporary sense. I am interested in discovering how this type of photography has developed over the years and also the varying approaches other well known photographers, in particular fashion photographers (some contemporaries of Winogrand), have taken towards it.
New York City Street Map 1970s
Garry Winogrand’s Photographic Process
Winogrand, WNET, 1982
Winogrand and the Crowd
Winogrand, Women are Beautiful, 1970s
A women has noticed Winogrand’s lens pointing in her direction and has appears flattered. Her body forms a vertical point of reference in the image.
Perhaps this was an approach he adopted in the hope that he could lure his subject back to their stance when they were blissfully unaware of his camera’s lens pointing in their direction. On the other hand, this approach could be a defence mechanism against the defiant attitude common in New Yorkers. The urban crowd puts the individual in contact with many hazardous activities and one must keep one’s guard up and remain alert. In a rare case, when his subjects were not offended by Winogrand’s attention, the beauty of a particular image was in the very fact that his subject was keenly aware of his presence. The sense of flattery awoken in these people creates a moment of sheer bliss which can be read in both their face and posture.
Winogrand, Women are Beautiful, 1970s
Winogrand’s reflection in the shop window ensures us that the subject is aware of his presense. She seems unphased. Her figure appears to be the only vertical in the frame
In a constant state of flux, the street fueled and encouraged Winogrand’s energy. He would jump, duck, run through traffic, as though the people and cars were an obstacle course, in the way of his target. He even had special ‘moves’ he had developed in an attempt to get around people... “you should see my turnaround jumper!” (Stack, 2002). The momentum of the crowds, although an obstacle, were intrinsic to shooting his target. In particular, Winogrand seemed captivated by women, “Women interest me – how they look, yes certainly how they look, and their energy” (Winogrand, WNET, 1982). The only book ever he edited entirely himself, ‘Women and Beautiful’, was dedicated to this subject.
Women and Winogrand
Winogrand, Women are Beautiful, Los Angeles, 1970s
A women’s hair is caught in a gust of wind as she attempts to adjust her purse. The left hand side of her body forms a point of reference to the vertical edge of the frame.
Winogrand, Women are Beautiful, New York, 1960s
This woman seems to be rushing and has become entangled by hair. Onlooking men have noticed. The right side of her body, from nose to knee, forms a vertical line to the vertical edge of the frame.
Women and Architecture in the City
Clothing and the City
Carrie Bradshaw getting splashed by a passing by bus bearing her own picture, opening credits, Sex and the City
Many of the women who caught the eye of Garry Winogrand were particularly well dressed. As I have not come across any evidence to suggest that he was interested in fashion or personal style, my guess is that he was only aware of this on a subconscious level. These particular women wore clothes which were made to be noticed. Such attire can arouse confidence is the wearer and perhaps it is this attitude which Winogrand responded to. For these women, clothing was an extension of their personal selves which they were content with displaying in the public realm of the street. On the other hand there were women whose attire seemed to have attracted his gaze for an entirely different reason.
Winogrand, Women are Beautiful, 1970s
A particularly stylish woman and her son. Here the young boy creates the vertical. His kaftan mimics that of the woman behind him.
Winogrand, Women are Beautiful, 1970s.
This woman appears to have been caught in a rain shower yes does not seem bothered by Winogrand’s lens or by the way her top is now clinging to her, leaving little to the imagination of the viewer. She too acts as a compositional element in this frame
Le Corbusier's 'The Radiant City'. Image Source: architzer.com
The Public Self and Crowds
In some cases, the individual thrives in the anonymity (if left undisturbed) that the street can offer them. On the other hand, there is that rare person who wishes to be noticed. To them the crowd provides a breeding ground for chance meetings, social encounters and attention of a sexual nature.
Modern Street and Fashion Photography and the City
William Sokolsky, Paris, 'Bubble Series', Vogue, 1963
William Klein , New York , 1959, Life is good and good for you
Thomas Zanon-Larcher, Aestethica, 2013
By Ciana March
BooksWilson, E. (1991) The Sphinx in the City: Urban Life, the Control of Disorder, and Women. London: Virago Press
Wilson, E. (1985) Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity. London: Virago Press
Stack, T W (2002) Winogrand 1964: photographs from the Garry Winogrand Archive Centre for
Creative Photography, The University of Arizona. Santa Fe, N.M. : Arena Editions
Winogrand, G.; Fraenkel Gallery and Lifson, B. (1999) The man in the crowd: the uneasy streets of Garry Winogrand. San Francisco : Fraenkel Gallery
Sokolsky, M. and Harrison, M. (2000) Seeing Fashion. Santa Fe, N.M. : Arena Editions
Klein, W. (1995) Life is good & good for you in New York: trance witness revels. Manchester: Dewi Lewis
Meyerowitz, J. and Westerbeck C. (1994) Bystander: A History of Street Photography. Boston, Mass. ; London: Little, Brown and Company
JournalsHazelton, C. (2013) ‘In the Room of Dreams: Thomas Zanon-Larcher’. Aesthetica, Iss. 51 p.34-39
(No author stated) (2013) ‘Life Through the Lense: Garry Winogrand’. Aesthetica, Iss. 51 p.58-71
Lectures / InterviewsWinogrand, G (1979) Interview at International Centre of Photography, New York. ‘The Photographic Lecture Series’.Online audio archive available at: http://lectures.icp.edu/archive/1979.html
Winogrand, G (1982) In conversation with Bill Moyers, WNET ‘Creativity’.
Available at: http://2point8.whileseated.org/2007/03/23/garry-winogrand-with-bill-moyers/
Websites / BlogsThe Wapping Project Bankside (2013) thewappingprojectbankside.com Group exhbition feat. Thomas Zanon-Larcher.
Available at: http://www.thewappingprojectbankside.com/exhibitions/2012/zanon-larcher-falling-a-part/index.shtml
Messy Nessy Chic (2013) messynessychic.com How they did it: The Bubble Girl in Paris 1963, posted 4th Sep ‘12.
Available at: http://www.messynessychic.com/2012/09/04/how-they-did-it-the-bubble-girl-in-paris-1963/
The American Society of Cinematographers (2013) www.theasc.com Street-Wise: The Photography of Garry Winogrand and Alexey Titarenko, posted 7th Dec ‘09.
Available at: http://www.theasc.com/blog/2009/12/07/street-wise-the-photography-of-garry-winogrand-and-alexey-titarenko/
Moloney, K (2012) http://blog.kevinmoloney.com. Shooting the Mean Streets, posted 4th Aug ‘10.
Available at http://blog.kevinmoloney.com/?tag=garry-winogrand
Garza, O.C. (2013) Class time with Garry Winogrand, ‘07.
Available at: http://www.ocgarzaphotography.com/documents/ClassTimewithGarryWinograndfinal3.pdf