Posted: Tuesday, September 2, 2014
In a taped 1977 interview at Rice University, Garry Winogrand sits before a panel of students in the most casual position: his feet are propped up onto the podium before him and he leans back, relaxed, with his hands behind his head—the ultimate posture of a carefree New Yorker. Winogrand's conversational and, at times, sarcastic tone reveals how he does not take himself too seriously. In his answers, he makes his photographic process seem quite simple: a matter of waiting for spontaneity and a having a quick eye to capture it. Despite his quick pace when photographing, Winogrand was able to give his chance encounters great meaning, effectively using light and interesting angles to powerfully capture the fast-moving American culture.
Posted: Friday, August 29, 2014
Garry Winogrand constantly contemplated and experimented with society's notions of beauty, especially its views on women. He once said that the reason we photograph is "to learn who we are and how we feel." I think his photographs are less about the subject and more about the society that surrounds them. Women, from the moment they step out of their houses, are expected to maintain a certain standard of self-presentation and appearance. Winogrand photographed women who were in this "presentable" state but shot them candidly, not posed. He took away the subject's ability to consciously present herself, capturing the space between her inner, subconscious beauty and societal preconceptions of it.
Posted: Friday, August 22, 2014
I consider Garry Winogrand's photographs found in the current exhibition of his work to be a collection of perfect mistakes. "Perfect" because, even though the subject is often not posing or even looking straight at the camera, there is something about the picture that makes it incredibly engaging. The very same picture can simultaneously feel like a "mistake," however, since it may capture people who are either unaware they are being photographed or are unhappy about it. In some cases, it feels to me like Winogrand accidentally pressed the shutter button. Normally people have to pose or look at the camera in order for a photograph to be considered successful, but Winogrand instead intended to capture these unguarded people and moments.
Posted: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
Garry Winogrand's street photography, currently on view in an eponymous exhibition at the Museum, is often astonishingly candid and real. But would he have been able to use his distinct style today? The Internet has made it easier than ever to share photos and spread them around. But it's also made people far more self-conscious when being photographed and, dare I say, more frightened of the camera.
Posted: Friday, August 15, 2014
Today, with the special features on DSLRs, you can get a good shot even in difficult lighting environments. You can also use Photoshop and special effects to alter photographs after they've been taken. But imagine a time in which photo editing was not as common and photography was not as easy to do as it is today.
Posted: Friday, August 8, 2014
In the words of Garry Winogrand, subject of the current exhibition bearing his name, "If you didn't take the picture, you weren't there." Today, when most people hear a bizarre story, they want to have some sort of evidence, like a photograph. They want to see whatever happened with their own eyes. Winogrand upends this scenario. Instead, he simply provides the proof, and denies the audience the story behind it.
Posted: Tuesday, August 5, 2014
It's a human tendency to take apart what's put in front of us. But more importantly, we have a selfish desire to connect a piece of artwork to our lives in some way. We may feel almost dead if we are unable to connect the artwork to some greater philosophical idea that we believe to be present. While there is nothing wrong with that process, the artist may not agree with your interpretation, as the work may in fact have no underlying meaning. The artist may have simply created the piece because of its aesthetics.
Posted: Friday, August 1, 2014
Vincent van Gogh painted a series of cypress trees during his stay in an asylum in Saint-Remy, France, but one work in particular—Cypresses—has always stood out to me.
Posted: Friday, July 25, 2014
As I travel through the galleries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one question always lingers in my mind: If these inanimate objects were able to speak, what would they say? I have taken on the task of "interviewing" three sculptures to break their silence and give us more insight into their lives and stories.
Posted: Monday, July 21, 2014
Charles James grew up traveling with his family to fashion capitals all over the globe. He gained inspiration from the world around him and then put his own personal spin on traditional ideas, never choosing to follow any particular seasonal trends. He loved to take funky fabric and work it into ways never seen before. For example, if a fabric was meant to be used in a stiff manner, James would soften it with steam and bend it to his desired shape. He was uncompromising in his vision, always favoring his personal ideals of feminine beauty over the specific desires of his clients, who, despite this stubbornness, loved him. He was a revolutionary iconoclast who considered himself as much an artist and a technician as a designer.