Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable (2018) Movie Script

Well, what is a photograph?
- I don't know. You tell--
- I...
Well, I'll tell you
what a photograph is.
It's the illusion
of a literal description
of how a camera saw a piece
of time and space.
Consider this.
What does a camera do?
What does photography do better
than anything else
but describe.
To use it for anything else
is rather foolish.
It's important to understand
what a thing is
because if you go
to the fruit store
and you ask for apples
and they give you bananas,
good luck.
You've seen enough corruption
of language, I think.
That's why you get
the politicians
you get in office.
When you go to the restaurant,
you ask for eggs
and you get a hamburger,
how do you feel?
Because that's
what I can come to.
That's why every time
a politician
says the word "peace,"
you know they're talking
about soldiers moving,
whenever they use
the word peace.
You should learn to call
the thing what it is.
Garry Winogrand was
one of the principal American
photographers of his generation.
He was a true poet
of photography...
a true poet of American life.
He took this genre
of so-called street photography
and turned it on its head
and made it something new.
This guy shot
over a million photographs
in his lifetime,
which is absolutely phenomenal
when you stop and think
about that.
Winogrand was controversial
in his time and even remains so.
One of the things
that's always...
really fascinated me
about him is that he died
with thousands of rolls
of undeveloped film.
What could that be?
there's a lot of nothing.
There's a lot
of pictures of nothing,
but I discovered things
in that nothing
that people didn't know
and still don't know.
All kidding aside,
- I would like not to exist.
Does that make sense
to you at all?
In the end,
all I can do is wrestle
and whatever comes out.
That's the way
I have to express it.
I would like not to exist.
I'm not speaking in mysteries.
And I'm not talking
about suicide or anything.
I'd just as soon not exist.
I think Garry's
trying something really radical.
Do you think
he was joking when he said
it's the closest I get
to not existing?
He kept letting go.
He saw no other
possibility for himself.
This is what saved him
from a totally anarchic life.
When I think about Garry
and writers, the one who comes
immediately to mind is
Norman Mailer,
who was a contemporary of his.
Garry mentioned Mailer
on more than one occasion.
They were even physically
a bit similar.
Mailer's interest
in the times and...
his willingness to dig in
in such a meaty complicated way
I think parallels
Garry's approach to photography.
Many people
have made references
comparing his work
to poetry or literature.
To me...
I actually more compare it
to choreography.
I would say his work
is closer to...
a Jerome Robbins or a Bob Fosse.
Everyone thinks
it's something about an eye.
Garry was an athlete.
I have moves...
Somebody once told me,
they watched me photograph,
I have moves
like a basketball player.
I never thought about it,
but it's probably true.
- I can do the turnaround jumper.
One things I love
about Winogrand is the dance
or the dance as you guys
might say.
But if you look
at a Winogrand picture,
in a lot of the photographs,
he gets the legs.
You know, and you look
through this picture,
look at the dance here
Look at the dance here.
Now, we keep on going, you just
- look at the dance here, okay?
- Mm-hmm.
Look at the dance here.
Look at the dance here.
Dancing, everyone's dancing.
One of the things
that he really looked at,
as far as the body is concerned,
he went from top to bottom.
He could find the great faces.
He could find
great hand gestures.
He's getting everything.
As far as how a body moves,
he can capture it.
I don't think there's anyone
that does that like him.
And I think just the...
that's really difficult.
Garry was the frame.
You say to yourself, well,
what if you lived in...
in Vienna in 1785
and you knew this guy
Wolfgang Mozart,
how would he separate himself
from the other people?
Would you know
how singular he was?
And probably in many cases,
the answer would have been no.
And that's what I feel
about Garry, that he was that
totally remarkable.
He wants to state the question
and the pure question is,
"What is photography?"
After the IRT subway line
was built,
up the east side of Manhattan
and across the river
into the Bronx
the Bronx very quickly became
the second largest Jewish city
in the world.
The generation of young people
who grew up in the Bronx,
were very often the children
of immigrants,
Winogrand was one of these.
It was an extraordinary journey
that generation took
they started with
very little for the most part,
and came an enormous distance
in a very short period of time.
I call them
the nose job generation.
And they are...
enjoying benefits
of assimilation,
but they cannot assimilate.
And they are torn
because they are also suffering
a level of discrimination
that people
have completely forgotten about.
You know, Jews are white,
as are Italians and so,
and Irish people.
So it's hard for us to imagine
how you could even
single them out.
Because he had a Bronx accent
and he was very physical
and there were stories about him
getting into fistfights
and stuff like that,
so there was a sense that he was
this tough guy New Yorker.
It gets back to his biography
or the facts of his youth
rather than
a cultural thing.
How he had polio
when he was very young.
Things like that.
He had an ulcer
when he went into the army.
And that's why he got
a medical discharge,
it was because he had an ulcer
which wasn't from me.
It was from, you know,
his life with his mother,
I hadn't met him yet.
We had our... stuff,
Bertha and I, but she comes
from another world.
She worked as a seamstress
sewing ties,
and his father was
this incredibly brilliant
designer of bags.
Abe was a really dear,
very lovely, wonderful person.
That's where Garry...
that's where Garry
got his love from,
and his love for children
because his dad adored him.
You know...
What can I say, Garry is driven
because his mother was driven,
she was a driven, driven person.
Can one waitress
carry everything you ordered?
Certainly through my growing up,
years in my mother's house,
that's what she was.
Yes. It's interesting.
My mother, it's a classic thing
with my father,
what she's got going.
My father is very much
his own man.
- You can't bull him around.
- No.
I think except...
The only area
that my father is not...
assertive is probably sex.
You know, my father,
he runs the house, you know.
It's the way he wants it.
As a matter of fact,
when he's at home,
you couldn't imagine
that he could do anything
for himself.
Where he works,
he's extremely independent.
I've seen him throw
his boss out of the factory.
He done what?
I've seen him throw
his boss out of the factory.
I can see where you get
it from.
Like Socrates said,
"Know thyself."
But it's true. I've never
really made a decision.
I didn't even decide to be
a photographer.
Did you know that?
How did you start?
I just started.
I had a camera.
Cameras interested me.
You know...
And I was studying painting
at Columbia
and they had a camera club.
It turned out the darkroom
was available 24 hours a day.
I went there...
It's hard to imagine you
a painter.
It's hard for me
to imagine it also,
but within two weeks of finding
out about the camera club,
somebody showed me
how to operate the enlarger.
I never saw anybody do it.
Somebody just showed me
what to do.
Within a couple of weeks,
I never painted again.
That's all I ever did.
Here you go...
Thank you.
One of my favorite
pictures is a photograph
from 1950
of a sailor walking alone.
It's a very hard photograph
to make, in my opinion,
where you have the lone figure
in the picture plane,
so they have to be exactly
in the right place.
They can't be too far forward.
They can't be too far back.
The understanding, the sort
of existential understanding,
and how the photograph acts
as this symbol of our aloneness
in the world is profound.
It's just beautiful.
He really was
sort of a philosopher about
what photography is at its core
and his work is a manifestation
of that.
I remember him, for example,
talking about the difficulty
of making a picture
where the people inside
the photograph
are looking at something
outside the edge of the picture,
something that we can't see.
And he used as a model of that
Atget's great photograph
of the people looking
at the eclipse.
He admired that picture
very much.
Then I think he took it,
whether consciously or not,
as a personal challenge himself.
We certainly talked about
the photographers he admired
and who he was influenced by.
At the top of the list,
unsurprisingly, was Robert Frank
and his book The Americans.
The Americans, it's
almost an instruction manual
on how to use and not use
the camera properly.
There's out of focus.
There's, you know, loose.
And I think Winogrand really
took a lot of that to heart
and used a lot of that.
I particularly
remember him talking about
the picture made in Baton Rouge,
the great Robert Frank
of the black preacher
on the riverbank with the cross
and it's tilted.
That photograph had
an enormous impact on Garry.
I think the primary
difference between Frank
and Winogrand is that Frank
was a foreigner
and he felt a distance
from his subjects.
Winogrand was an American.
He can be extremely tough and is
surfacing a lot of things
that are not right with America,
but it's from the perspective
of somebody who's in it
rather than outside of it.
The other photographer
would be Walker Evans.
Garry looked at Evans
and what he saw
was the pure energy
that's contained
in absolute photographic
which is the style
of the naked fact,
the is-ness of things.
It had to do with an almost
philosophical attitude about
photography as a medium
that before it's anything else,
it's lens description.
And that's what he learned
from Evans.
The person who really,
more than anyone else,
filled the role of a sort
of mentor for Winogrand
was a photographer older
than he, called Dan Weiner.
And Dan Weiner died suddenly
in a plane crash in 1959.
Garry always used
to photograph airports
because he was superstitious
about that.
Whenever he took a flight,
he would photograph
at the airport.
I have a lot
of airport material,
over 20 years of shooting
at airports.
My own nuttiness about flying,
how to deal with terror,
you know?
Winogrand kept
photographing people
carrying lots of luggage
and now when we're talking
about people
and having issues, we say,
"Yeah, they've got
some baggage."
I think that is one
of the things that's so manifest
in Winogrand: yeah,
we see the baggage
these people are carrying.
The psychogestural ballet
that's going on there
is just extraordinary.
He was a city hick
from the Bronx
whom the winds of fate
brought to photojournalism.
One way of considering
the career of Garry Winogrand
is to see him as one who began
as a photojournalist
and who gradually learned
to direct
the very limited tools
of that craft
towards radically independent
and personal goals.
This is
a really important factor
of the time Garry was alive,
and that is that when Garry
was a young person,
the only thing you could do
as a photographer
was to be a photojournalist.
That was your option.
At the moment when
Winogrand began photographing,
photography was disseminated
through large picture magazines,
mass circulation magazines like
Life Magazine, Look Magazine
and so forth.
And the great majority
of photographers
either went to work,
or hoped to go to work
for those magazines,
Winogrand among them.
He worked for the first decade
of his career
as essentially
a stringer or freelancer
for a number of magazines,
very rarely the top end.
Nonetheless, the enterprise
was essentially one
of illustrating written stories.
Winogrand felt
that this role of illustrator,
that if you accepted this role,
you would be blocked,
that the poetry
of a photograph...
...its ambiguity,
the uncertainty that we feel.
The magazines didn't want
any of that.
The wayward wind
Is a restless wind
A restless wind
That yearns to wander
And he was born
The next of kin
The next of kin
To the wayward wind
In a lonely shack
By a railroad track
He spent his younger days
And I guess the sound
Of the outward-bound
Made him a slave
To his wandering ways
And the wayward...
When he didn't have jobs,
he was just photographing
whatever he came across out
on the street
or wherever he happened to be.
And I think
that he started to see
the potential of photography
for something else
other than illustrating stories.
This picture doesn't tell you
anything really.
something terrible has happened,
but we don't know
if this man survived.
We don't know if he has
any relationship to this child.
This picture
makes chaos visible.
That's what I think
he was an absolute master at
and that's what I love
about his work.
The best ones are just riding
right on the razor's edge
of just completely
falling apart.
Winogrand came to feel
quite alienated
from the culture
of the magazines.
Not only alienated,
he came to feel defiant.
He felt that that world
represented values
that were fraudulent.
You know,
when I stopped doing ads,
I had gone
through about six months
of being extremely busy.
I got to the point
where I was wishing
that I had an art director who
had a personality like Hitler,
but he'd be intelligent
because all of them were
very nice and stupid,
and you got to be
a Jewish mother.
What would be
your ideal solution be?
What do you mean?
There is no solution.
All you do is state a problem.
That's the problem you state.
What's the problem?
The contest, the contest
between content and form.
That's the problem you state.
The solutions wind up as ads.
The who?
That's what advertising is.
You solve the problem
in advertising.
And I don't care
what you're doing,
you're sculpting,
you're painting.
It's always...
The problem is always the same.
The problem of the artist
is to state the problem.
Winogrand's career
formed a part of a...
dramatic transition
in the world of photography
away from journalism
and toward the world
of the fine arts.
Sometime between 1955 and 1960,
he came to reject magazine work
as a way of life,
even though he had no clear idea
of how he would move out of it
or where he would move to.
I don't even know
the chronology when he decided
to become an artist and not...
I think it's after I left
he was able to do that.
Now, he's going to be an artist.
He's not going to do jobs.
By all accounts,
the apartment was a mess.
It was, you know, filled up
to the rafters with prints
and cigarettes
and coffee and crap
and cameras.
And the guy was
pretty much the same thing.
He'd roll out the house,
pick up the camera.
He was loose, he was messy,
but also very vulnerable
and the style
uh... that he shot in was
very much a self-portrait.
His investigations
of the medium
conducted out on the street,
conducted speculatively,
were an extension
of his own personal life
being conducted speculatively,
from day to day
not knowing from one to the next
who he would be with,
what he'd be eating,
all the rest of it,
whether he'd see his kids.
I thought about it.
I talked to my friend. I said,
"Oh, yeah. How old is he?"
"He's an older man."
It was like 21, right?
Twenty-one in those days
was an older man.
Really. I was 15
and a half, what did I know?
He was after me and after me.
I was a virgin.
My parents were away
for the weekend or something.
And I know it was in my room
on my bed
that we had sex the first time.
All I remember is he was
walking by the bed,
and I thought...
I guess he was nude
and I thought,
"Oh, my goodness.
That's what it looks like."
I was like, "Wow."
He asked me when I was 16
to marry me.
I had no decision making.
I had nothing about my life.
Garry made decisions.
I don't want to say...
It wasn't like I loved him.
He loved me so much.
You know, he gave me
all his attention and...
But he gave me attention
in the way he needed it
and the way he wanted it and...
the minute we got married,
his mom and he.
Had us move from that
little apartment we started with
to the building
where his mother lived
That should have been,
you know...
Maybe that was one.
I mean, Garry was a very...
dominating personality.
He would be with anyone.
At the same time, there's Garry
who's making the meals
while Adrienne has dance class
or is teaching dance
or is in a theater production.
So I think he shared...
the responsibilities
of the household.
Garry begged me
to get pregnant.
Oh, I want to tell you,
he wanted kids.
He... he really talk about,
like a train that doesn't stop
coming and coming
and coming and coming.
He wanted kids.
This was a time when Garry
had his heart on his sleeve.
Okay? This was a time
when Garry could feel,
he had his feelings
and he wasn't...
obsessed again.
Adrienne, for years,
was a pain in the ass.
At times, I felt she didn't
really want to marry me.
She wanted to have arguments,
you know?
But one thing I got to hand her,
even during the worst,
she never used the kids
as a weapon,
never did anything like that.
I never thought I was attractive
until my second wife.
She made it clear to me
that I was an attractive man.
I never thought of myself
that way either way.
Whatever it is,
I'm not pretty, certainly
No. You've never been
pretty, even as a child.
My second wife was sure
I was fucking everybody
the minute
I walked out the door.
You're like a guy
who wants to screw a girl
and she says, "I don't want to."
He says, "Of course.
But why don't you want to?"
You hear that?
I can't imagine getting
into a conversation like that.
- Yeah, I know.
- Who talks about it?
I grab.
Sometimes, they don't
grab back, and you ask, "Why?"
Then you convince them
with the other hand.
Yeah, you can roll that up,
thank you.
He was a product
of his times.
He was a man of his time.
So it's an idea
about being a man...
that was pretty clear.
Well, my pad is very messy
And there's whiskers
On my chin
And I'm all hung up on music
And I always play to win
I ain't got no time
For lovin'
'Cause my time
Is all used up
Just to sit around creatin'
All that groovy
Kind of stuff
But I'm a man
Yes, I am, and I can't help
But love you so
But I'm a man
Yes, I am, and I can't help
But love you so
Well, if I had
My choice of matter
I would rather be with cats
Let's look at Winogrand's
marvelous photographs,
it's one of his finest,
of three young women
coming down Hollywood Boulevard.
The sun is blasting behind them.
Over on the left
is a young crippled man
in a wheelchair
with his head hanging down.
And over on the right is a...
Chinese matron with a young boy.
What is going on here?
Here are three...
toothsome young women.
I won't say
that they're beauties,
but they're sexy.
And they are noticing
this crippled youth.
They come out
of a world of light.
It's as if they've descended
out of the sun
and he's over there
in the shadow.
And he can't even see them.
His head is hanging down.
All he can see
is his little bowl of coins.
This opposition
between the world of light
and the world of darkness,
the world of having,
the world of not having,
the world of freedom,
the world of inevitability.
This opposition is clear enough
in the picture.
Does it have a conclusion?
Absolutely not.
Does it have a source?
Why did this happen?
A picture like this,
I don't have a magic finger.
You know what I mean?
I was in the viewfinder
in other words.
Something interested me
about them.
And then, this happened,
and I was all ready...
I'm trying to make the point
you're working at it,
and you have a shot.
It's not lightning striking.
It's part of a process.
Garry had told me something
that was very important
to me as an artist.
He told me
that a lot of photographers
don't realize
their own potential
because they're waiting
for someone to
tell them to go take
a photograph.
At that time, I was a struggling
commercial photographer, so...
I wasn't shooting
a lot because I was
literally waiting
for assignments and
just not getting
a lot of work done, and it was,
you know, kind of depressing.
And so, after he told me that,
I started shooting every day
and, you know, I always
attribute Garry as that lesson
as an artist.
This is Garry Winogrand,
St. Thomas Church
right at the 53rd Street,
photographing John Szarkowski.
John Szarkowski called you...
the central photographer
of your generation.
- It's very high praise...
- Right, it is.
...but also an enormous burden.
- No.
- No?
- Not at all.
- None at all?
What does that have to do
with working?
When I'm photographing,
I don't have that
kind of nonsense running around
in my head, I'm photographing.
John Szarkowski became
the head
of the Department of Photographs
at the Museum of Modern Art
in 1962.
And Szarkowski was really
looking at what photographs
can do that other art forms
can't do
and what are the characteristics
of photography
that make it special.
With the installation
of John Szarkowski at MoMA,
there was this sense
that something new was possible,
something even revolutionary.
All of a sudden,
not only was there
a group of photographers
seeking to create
a new language.
There was this guy who actually
spoken a new language
and wrote a new language.
The photographic landscape
of the second half
of the 20th century
is so largely determined
by John Szarkowski.
So even if you've actually
never heard of him,
you've got no idea who he was,
you will be all the time
conscious of his influence.
everyone called him "The Czar."
John basically called the shots
in terms of what was
perceived as
viable photography
and what was not.
He was a very poetic man.
And I think most to the point,
he was a wonderful curator
in the sense that he had
a wonderful eye.
He could take somebody's body
of work
and make it absolutely sing.
The flip side of that,
he and I had a falling out
because I went off to be
a critic
and he said,
"Always tell the truth,"
and my truth was sometimes
not his truth.
Any act where you questioned,
for instance,
you know, Garry Winogrand,
or you had an issue to raise
about, you know, whether it be
feminism or the ways
in which a project
was put together,
was basically perceived
as treason.
Well, curators
have their sensibility
and their passion,
just like art historians,
just like gallerists and...
I think, often times,
when you feel
like you've created something,
you want to hold on
to those people.
And in a way,
it's a really beautiful thing
to think about,
a curator who'll go
the whole distance
with a group of artists
or one artist
is an amazing thing.
Very early in his tenure
at MoMA,
John came up
with an exhibition called
"Five Unrelated Photographers."
And looking back,
it's sort of remarkable how John
was able to look at this work
and embrace it to the degree
that he included it
in this five person exhibition.
Szarkowski was
incredibly important
to Winogrand.
He was a mentor to him,
somebody who helped guide him
and give him some direction,
helping him figure out
how to move his work forward.
I made my living
as a commercial photographer.
And that whole museum thing
was a... you got to understand,
in those times,
there were no galleries.
There was nothing.
The museum didn't mean anything.
A matter of fact, what happened
was he ran into me at a party,
he asked me to call him
and I never did.
And then, he called me
about four weeks later.
You see,
it didn't have the same...
meaning the way it seems to now,
the whole thing that's
happened with photography.
It was...
You understand?
It was a different time.
He didn't care about shows,
the notion of being an artist.
That's not something that
generation of photographers,
that's not why they worked.
They worked because that's
what gave them pleasure.
That's what gave
their lives meaning.
He had no ambition
for fame or celebrity.
He was totally obsessed
and possessed by photography.
It was work,
work, work, work, work.
He developed...
ways of photographing,
which is just sort of lifting
the Leica
in a gesture like that,
as the camera is making
the exposure
and bringing the camera down,
that left it all
very confusing to people
he was photographing
as to whether or not
he had actually
taken the picture.
95% of the photographs
are of people.
And it's this observation
of human behavior,
human activity,
human gesture,
the relationships between people
whether they know each other
or not,
how we behave in the world.
I don't lay myself out
down on the couch to figure out
why I'm a photographer
and not a this or that.
Whatever it is,
I can't seem to do enough of it.
It boggles my mind, I mean,
when people talk
about photographs and depth
and whatnot,
all a photograph ever does
is describe light on surface.
That's all there is.
And that's all we ever know
about anybody,
what we see, I mean...
I think we are our faces,
and whatever, you know.
That's all there is,
is light on surface.
Winogrand is
- a remarkable among artists
in that he left
very little written record
of what he thought.
There are almost no letters.
There are no diaries,
no journals.
There is a single statement,
in which he did speak
about the world around him
and about what was going on
inside himself,
both at the same time.
It was his application
for a Guggenheim Fellowship
of late 1963 which followed
by about a year
the Cuban Missile Crisis
to which he seems to have had
an extraordinarily
powerful reaction.
By his own account,
he was terrified.
And driven,
I don't want to say
to a mental breakdown.
Who knows about that?
But certainly driven
in that direction.
And so, 11 months later
in his Guggenheim application,
he wrote the following.
He said,
"I have been
photographing the United States"
trying by investigating
to learn who we are
and how we feel
by seeing what we look like
as history has been
and is happening to us
in this world.
Since World War II,
we have seen the spread
of affluence,
the move to the suburbs
and the spreading of them,
the massive shopping centers
to serve them,
cars to and from.
New schools, churches and banks.
And the growing need
of tranquilizer peace,
missile races,
H-bombs for overkill,
war and peace tensions
and bomb shelter security.
And since the Supreme Court
decision to desegregate schools,
we have the acceleration
of civil liberties
battle by Negroes.
I look at the pictures
I've done up to now
and they make me feel
that who we are
and how we feel
and what is to become of us
just doesn't matter.
Our aspirations and successes
have been cheap and petty.
I read the newspapers,
the columnists,
some books and I look
at some magazines, our press.
They all deal
in illusions and fantasies.
I can only conclude
that we have lost ourselves
and that the bomb may finish
the job permanently
and it just doesn't matter.
We have not loved life.
I cannot accept my conclusions
and so I must continue
this photographic investigation
further and deeper.
"This is my project."
This artist who's
in a constant existential crisis
of "Why the fuck are we here?"
trying to figure out
where he fits in.
And I think it's true
for all of us.
That statement, I think,
could be taken to stand
for his entire life
as a photographer.
It's an effort to see
as truthfully as he possibly can
the world around him and then
somehow magically,
by what means he never explains,
to find in that
deeply disappointed,
deeply fallen world,
some kind of redemption.
That's a project.
Oh, the foes will rise
With the sleep still
In their eyes
And they'll jerk
From their beds
And think they're dreamin'
But they'll pinch themselves
And squeal
And know that it's for real
The hour
When the ship comes in
Then they'll raise
Their hands
Sayin' we'll meet
All your demands
But we'll shout from the bow
Your days are numbered
And like Pharaoh's tribe
They'll be drowned
In the tide
And like Goliath
They'll be conquered
I think everyone's
wrong about the unfinished work.
I don't want to hear that it
wasn't as good as anything else.
You want to start comparing.
Nothing is as good as 1964.
That's all, not Garry.
No one else. Nothing.
That's how great this worked
from 1964 was
for crying out loud.
He began traveling out
into the west.
Arguably, 1964 was
the single-most productive year
of his entire life.
He was on fire that year
and produced a tremendous body
of work for the most part
in Texas and in California.
Garry took
the 35-millimeter camera
and used it may be further
than anybody else
could use it and by that I mean,
the amount of information
that can be included
with the lenses
that he was using.
So that what you ended up
with is a portrait of America.
For Garry became
something much more spontaneous,
but again owing very,
very little
to accept it or establish canons
of beautiful composition.
He felt that photography
was a medium that should be open
to new forms
or maybe the form of non-form.
It isn't just an idea
about form.
It's how the form changes
when you change the machine.
And the big change
that Garry made with the machine
was to use a 28-millimeter lens,
that is a wide-angle lens
of course,
that completely changes
the nature of the drawing
of a photograph.
And Garry was the first,
I think, great master
of the drawing.
Garry photographed
not only in black and white
but in color and, in fact,
would oftentimes
have two cameras;
one with color film and one
with black-and-white film.
There's this amazing body
of Winogrand color work,
which we've only really started
to glimpse
with the publication
of that 1964 book.
It's like the picture,
the photograph on the cover
of 1964.
It's a very straight on view
of a family.
So they're these figures
and there's the car
and there's a barbecue.
And there they are.
And the photograph really
is about the end of the world.
So you have the blue sky,
you have the very white sand,
sort of the tactile sense,
when you look at the picture
I think is enhanced
by virtue of the color.
In the Center
for Creative Photography,
where his archive is,
there were 35,500
35-millimeter slides.
Clearly, there was a point
when Garry considered
the color work part of his work
as an artist.
As we know about Garry,
the way he worked, was
that he photographed constantly,
all the stories,
the rolls of film, the bags,
and the color processes
at the time
were both too slow
and too expensive.
That's what Garry says
in this conversation with Jay,
because he turned his back on it
at that point.
Joel sends his regards.
He's gotten into color printing.
More power to him.
When it becomes as easy
as black and whites,
- that's my problem.
- That's the point.
What is it?
It is an easy
as black-and-white.
I'm looking at all
the processes it isn't.
The way I work...
I got piles of work prints
in there.
I'll expose a lot of paper.
I know, you always did.
You can't do that
with color, you can't do it.
I couldn't possibly...
I couldn't come close
to dealing with my shooting.
You see, it's crazy.
How much film
are you shooting?
I'm probably shooting
six hundred rolls a year.
Pretty easy.
You know,
he's full of himself.
His girlfriend at the time
who became a second wife
was writing copy.
It was the Mad Men era.
When I met him
in the middle '60s,
he seemed totally invulnerable.
This lion of a man.
He wore these jackets,
suit coats
that Judy encouraged him
to wear.
He lost weight.
He went on a diet, gave up--
tried to give up smoking.
So there was a certain
excitement about his days.
And that was irresistible
to the 26, 27 year old person
I was when I first met him.
New Documents opened up
the photography world
in a way that introduced
a new way of looking at
and making photographs.
The famous new document
show features Lee Friedlander,
Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand.
There's a paradigm defining
new show.
It's still documentary,
but it's much more personal.
The new documents
show, it was like the Bible.
You know,
it was very radical.
It was a statement of what was
acceptable in art photography.
And it was the social landscape
of Lee Friedlander.
And it was the public landscape
of urbanism which was Garry.
And it was Arbus's way
of looking at her fellows.
The 1967
New Documents exhibition
reset the course of photography.
There was something about
the distinction between Arbus,
Friedlander and Winogrand
that it allowed me to...
understand Garry's work
by looking at in relation
to those two other people.
I mean,
Arbus's work was...
really kind of amazing
in that in the '50s
you would never saw anything
but smiling white people.
It was like a mirror
that reflected only one person.
And so,
Arbus looking at the people
she was looking at,
or Garry being interested
in bandaged people.
Or interracial couples.
It was really shocking.
People were hungry
for the truth,
so hungry for the truth.
One's hungry for the truth
when one is young
because one is struggling
through fog of illusions
that collects
as one leaves childhood
and enters adulthood,
but remember that this was
a time in which this country
was greatly confused
about what its values were
and young people especially
were full of intense feeling
and little knowledge.
I think Garry was one
of the most intelligent people
I've ever met,
um... and wise, also.
I mean foolish in certain ways,
but wise about being
on the planet and understanding
what was important and...
that notion, the thing
that I described about him
trying to fit in.
The one place he knew he could
fit in was with family.
At some point I realized
not he hasn't paid his taxes
in five years.
It was like a bottomless pit
because he didn't have
enough money to make the rent.
He didn't have not enough money
to make child support.
And it seemed
like this is chaos.
This is just going to generate
into further and further chaos
I can't deal with it and I left.
I don't think Garry
wanted to get divorced
in either case,
either from Adrienne or Judy.
I think it was something
that both of them wanted.
I think he would have
probably stuck it out
if there were way to do that.
Winogrand's lonesomeness
was for the most part
a well-kept secret.
In spite of his own experience,
which was checkered at best,
he never tired
of praising marriage
and family life.
I think in some ways
it was a brilliant solution
to taking care of his kids
while he was actually
also shooting, so,
they were getting
something out of it,
and he was getting
something out of it.
Let's talk about one
of your projects, The Animals.
like in so much of your work,
juxtapositions and gestures
that usually go unnoticed
for most of us are
very significant.
When my first
two children were young
I'd take them to the zoo,
and I'd make pictures,
actually of them mostly.
The Animals
came about a funny way
because I've made a few shots.
At some point, I realized
something was going on
in some of those pictures.
Then, I went to work at that.
I got The Animals
and I loved the picture
in the back,
that he didn't take,
the picture of him.
He looked
like a movie star to me,
and I studied that book.
There are some really
great pictures in there,
but there is also quite
a lot of pretty...
Winogrand is amazing.
He is the real deal,
but I don't think
all of those photographs
are so remarkable.
It's a book that's easy
to dismiss because it seems
so casual,
but then when you really look
at it, you realize
it's an extension
in a lot of ways
of his street photography,
I think,
because there are all these
unscripted dramas that are
happening at the zoo.
I love how there are a couple
pictures that include his kids,
but that's so subtle
that you would miss it
if you didn't know.
He's got a place
that he has to go.
And he has to go
there regularly.
And he's this photo freak
that has to photograph
the whole time
and so, he stepped
into this arena
that his kids like to go to.
And he can kill two birds
with one stone.
The divorced man
is a much neglected topic
in at least in western
literature film, etc.
And when I did the story for Don
of what he would be like
on his own,
I couldn't find any examples.
The zoo pictures,
I share Matt's opinion,
I wasn't crazy
about the zoo pictures,
pictures of animals.
You describe it so brilliantly
I think as,
"Oh, that's
the divorced dad's pictures."
And yeah, then I see, of course,
that's what it's about.
It's a place where, as you say,
he can go to with these kids.
And then, that shifts you away
from the obvious subject,
"Oh, it's kids and people
relating to animals."
Then, you realize it's
more about, you know,
Winogrand relating
to the other people.
There it is.
The physical reality
at the same time
is being expressed
as a poetic reality.
He, the photographer,
is looking down into the water
and in the deep foreground
is a walrus that's
risen out of the water
and is staring up at the camera.
And behind the walrus
the uncomprehending family
of three
looking for the mystery
that's already disappeared.
It's all about the mysteries,
the one that's been lost,
the one that's contained
in the animal
and the mystery finally
of the artist.
It's a meaning that's
very, very consistent in Garry
and his work,
which is animals do have
a kind of superior knowledge
or maybe, as a corollary,
the most developed evolved
human is the one who's closest
to his or her animal nature.
I think photographs,
any works of art
that have any real power,
play with what you
think you know,
they make you question
what you think you know.
Well, that's what puns do.
What's funny about a pun?
You don't really laugh
because anything funny,
you laugh because you realize
you're not getting killed.
Language is basically existence
and a pun calls in the question
what you believe
a word means.
And you're profoundly upset
and when you realize
you're not getting killed,
you laugh out of relief.
That's what really happens.
He really thought
the pun was the noble thing.
He was interested
in those things that upset
one's sense of convention.
He looked for a parallel
in photography.
Here is a photograph that
received a lot of denunciation
on grounds that it was a...
racial joke,
a racist joke.
The photograph shows
a very beautiful black man
and a very beautiful white woman
for the Avenue promenading
through the Central Park Zoo.
And in their arms
are their two children.
It's a family group.
They love their children.
There's only one problem
with this picture,
which is that the two children
are two chimpanzees.
The picture is enormously funny,
but it's not funny because
it makes the dumb racial joke.
No, the reason it's funny,
it seems to me,
is that all four of them take it
so seriously.
That they believe in themselves
and in each other
and in their connectedness
to each other so fully.
That's the joke,
but where does it then take you?
To how we all live
in a world of illusion,
to how we don't know
who we really are,
to how we don't know
who our parents are,
to how we don't know
who our children are.
this is the very moment
when everyone
was screaming about
the disintegration
of the American family.
One of the things
that's not characteristic
of a Garry Winogrand photograph
is say, the image,
that's somewhat controversial
of the interracial couple
with the monkeys.
And in certain exhibition
and things,
I've seen it mentioned
that people felt
that that was
his most significant picture,
or one of his most
significant pictures,
which I just flatly dispute
because it didn't reflect
his attitude as a person.
That attitude is not repeated
very much in other pictures.
Compositionally, it's
nowhere near as sophisticated
as say a picture
of the World's Fair
with the women on the bench
and the guy, which also touches
on racial issues,
but it's a much more complex,
sophisticated, more where he was
coming from, knowing the guy.
I think that does him
a disservice
if people are highlighting that
as a significant picture
like with many humorists
or comedians,
it borders on bad tastes.
So that's problematic.
And I don't think it's really
reflective of him or his work.
It's now the beginning
of the '70s.
And by now, the '60s
has exhausted itself
in paroxysms of violence
and despair, cynicism,
and defeat in war.
And so Winogrand looking back
as much as forward
chose to leave New York finally
and go to live in Texas
and in California
with the idea that
by returning to these places
that he had visited,
he would be able to deepen
his understanding of them.
He talks a lot about how
he's interested in "problems."
And I think that Texas
and California
were very exciting
photographic problems for him.
He had been successful
in both places
on previous visits to West,
especially in 1964
and I think he saw them as
these really interesting,
fertile places
for a photographer.
The cities are
completely disintegrating,
absolutely no civic interest,
white flight busing.
It's driven by economics, race,
just the entropy,
and gum.
Just go to the subway platform
and just
imagine every one of those
gray spots is a wad of gum
that came out
of somebody's mouth
And think about
the last hundred years
that that subway has been there.
In the very years when
Winogrand was making this move,
it was also widely felt
that the East was finished,
that New York was exhausted,
New York was nearly bankrupt,
a depraved,
a sort of a rotten city.
And it was believed
correspondingly in those years
that the future would be found
in Southern California,
maybe in Texas.
So in a sense, he was following
out a line of national feeling,
not only his own interests,
but a line of national feeling.
And so he left New York.
He took a teaching job
in Austin, Texas in 1973.
How do you make
a photograph
that's more interesting
than what happened?
That's really the problem.
When you photograph
something beautiful,
how do you make a photo
that's more beautiful
that was photographed?
The word dramatic has to apply.
It's always about that.
Is the photograph more dramatic
than what was photographed?
I really don't think
you really learn from teachers.
You learn from work.
I think what you learn really
is how to be...
Yeah, you have to be your own
toughest critic.
And you only learn
that from work,
from seeing work.
As a teacher, I think of myself,
when I'm doing it,
as I don't feel that I'm there
to turn out photographers.
I think of an art department
is a place where
after all,
they're college students.
Why should they know
what they're going to do
with their lives?
You know,
it's a place to try things.
'Cause I was born lonely
Down by the riverside
Learned to spin
Fortune wheels
And throw dice
I was just 13
When I had to leave home
Knew I couldn't stick around
I had to roam
Ain't good looking
But you know I ain't shy
Ain't afraid to look it girl
Hear me out
So if you need some lovin'
And you need it right away
Take a little time out
And maybe I'll stay
But I got to ramble
Ramblin' man
Oh, I got to gamble
Ramblin' man
I got to ramble
Ramblin' man
I was born a ramblin'
Ramblin' man...
Did anybody encourage
you to be a photographer?
So what happened?
Nobody encouraged me.
What happened?
You became
a photographer despite.
Nobody encourages anybody.
Nobody encouraged me
to be a photographer.
Yeah, but you were like...
That's all that ever happened.
That's the only kind of people
that make it these days.
There are sensitive people
in the world.
No. They are never
going to make it.
Oh, come on...
They're never
going to make it.
- Horseshit.
- You'll see.
I'm sorry. You became an artist
despite, not because...
I don't care what the situation
is, who the person is.
You've got to be tough,
It may not look it,
but you better be.
It's classic Winogrand
for a start.
There is so much going on in it.
He's not a terribly
discreet photographer.
Somebody always sees
what he's up to,
somebody like you
get in this picture,
looking at Winogrand
with disapproval,
it's as though she spotted him
taking a pencil
and not giving any money,
which effectively is what
photographers are always doing.
And then, it's also a photograph
of a major celebrity.
The woman giving the money
to the beggar
is none other than Ali MacGraw
who at the time
this picture was taken
half of the world
was absolutely in love with.
When I'm photographing,
I see life.
That's what I deal with.
We know too much about how
pictures look and should look,
and how do you get around making
those pictures again and again.
It's one modus operandi to...
frame in terms of what you want
to have in the picture,
not about making a nice picture.
I'm very subjective
in what I photograph.
When things move,
I get interested.
I know that much.
Women interest me,
certainly how they look
and how they move,
their energy.
How long have
you been married?
To Eileen?
Jesus, let me think.
It's either two or three years.
We've been living together
now for...
four and a half years.
She looked much younger then.
A couple of years with Winogrand
will age anybody.
What's the name
of the book again?
Women Are Beautiful:
The Observations
of a Male Chauvinist Pig.
That's lovely.
The pictures will prove
women are beautiful.
Nobody has to prove
women are beautiful.
I know.
In 1975,
Winogrand published a book
called Women Are Beautiful.
It consisted primarily
of photographs he had made
in the streets
in the later '60s
and the early '70s.
Garry's book
and the body of work
Women Are Beautiful,
I know it was controversial
at the time.
There was some people
I think that thought
the "male gaze" was
objectifying women.
It was
more street photography
in a kind of macho aesthetic.
And it's hard to remember,
but it was very hard
for a young woman
to walk down the street.
People felt very comfortable
commenting about
every single thing you did,
every single thing
you were wearing.
I felt so self-conscious
on the street.
There was no way I could
have had my camera
and stopped and taken a picture.
I didn't feel invisible.
It was his bad judgment
or bad fortune
to bring this book
to publication
at probably the height
of feminism
that had begun in the 1960s,
but really, really reached
a crescendo
in the mid-70s.
He was reviled for this book.
I wonder if there's
a single good review
of it out there anywhere.
From my perspective,
Women Are Beautiful
is a very bad book.
It didn't do his work
any favors and I think that
unfortunately, it kind
of tarnished his image
in a lot of ways.
I don't believe
that it really represents
the artist that he was.
My critical response
to that book was never
easy or facile
because on the one hand, yes,
he was there at protest rallies,
but he was mainly looking
at nipples,
underneath people's shirts.
Of course, in those days
being a feminist meant
fewer bras.
And so obviously,
from the point of view of people
who are feminist
at that time
to be not taken seriously
when you're at a protest rally,
and to be seen only
as somebody without a bra
was deeply problematic.
When you're
photographing on the street,
you see these things.
Men look at women.
Women look at men.
Gay men look at men.
Gay men look at women.
You know, that's a reality.
And to deny that reality...
is futile.
On the other hand,
you have some
of the most strong,
engaged out-there women
and they are just screaming
and yelling and laughing.
So, my writing and speaking
about that book,
it was always mixed.
It was much more
that it was such an incredibly
protected world.
You were not allowed
to express an opinion that,
you know,
"This is kind of sexist,
can we talk about this?"
And John Szarkowski
proclaiming that somebody
who takes pictures of tits
and whatever is the greatest
photographer in the U.S.,
you make a statement like that,
that's a political problem.
If we had applied
standard definitions
of propriety
and niceness to photographers
working in the street,
we'd be left without a lot
of the great pictures
in the history of photography.
I find it
kind of intriguing because
we allow the state to photograph
us so relentlessly,
and yet people don't seem as
bothered by that,
as they do by someone
who is clearly an artist.
It's an artistic process.
You live within this process.
So the questions
of surveillance,
political correctness,
all of that stuff,
it's just totally irrelevant.
Now, perhaps that makes
the few of us
who even understand
what I'm talking about right now
dinosaurs and insensitive ghouls
uh... or whatever, but...
Who cares? That's it.
I never feel
the brutality of his gaze
that I feel
with other photographers.
I never feel cruelty.
And it's flattering.
It's kind of like people who...
they can't even see it
in themselves sometimes.
You know what I mean?
I think about the photo
with the woman
with the ice-cream cone,
it's just
- like someone has just said
the most flattering thing
she's ever heard
and she's completely embarrassed
because she doesn't know
how beautiful she is.
The one my students
and I love
of the woman who is eating
an ice cream cone.
She's got her head thrown back
and her mouth open,
and there's
some headless mannequin
or something behind her,
that's amazing that photo.
And it's sexual.
And it's, you know, vagina
with teeth kind of sexual.
And it is also hilarious
and ironic and funny.
I feel like...
taking the beauty
of a real person,
we are many layers away
from that right now.
And when you are actually
capturing the world,
that goes in and out of style.
The interest in the warts
is, you know, right now
we're in a very anti-wart era.
We're in a very stylized era
where people wish they could
wear a pair of glasses
that Photoshop the world.
They hate themselves.
They control all their pictures.
And, Garry, the moments
that are being taken
and the content is so unstaged,
It's like the Mona Lisa.
Why is the Mona Lisa around?
It's because she is a...
regular person.
I read the joke
attributed to Norman Mailer.
And it goes like this,
this grandmother,
her grandson is in the stroller
pushing him down the street...
and somebody she knows stops her
and starts admiring
this little boy,
just talking about him
what a beautiful head of hair,
the color of his lips
and his eye color.
And this woman finally
said, "Stop, stop",
if you think he's something
you should see his picture."
I think
the Public Relations work,
it's a body of work, which seems
less remarkable now perhaps
precisely because
it was so successful
I could be mistaken, but I think
Winogrand was one of the first
people to observe and document
this idea of the event
that existed
in order to be filmed.
Now, of course, we don't even
find it extraordinary.
The picture of the bunch
of photographers photographing
the scene is a clich now,
but at the time,
I don't think it was.
Public Relations
was really
the cusp of post-modernism.
He was the one who was saying
that the event itself
doesn't matter, it's its image.
It was the harbinger
of the selfie generation.
Because we get to watch
the Vietnam war on television,
the use of the media,
the use of photographs,
the use of television
to give us information
begins to be called
into question,
and that in terms
of photography,
I think, is the basis
of the postmodern movement.
Why you end up
with Cindy Sherman
and Laurie Simmons, for example.
I had my first show
in 1979.
And it seemed
like a whole other thing was...
bursting open.
We'll call it postmodernist,
we'll call it
the pictures generation.
The way that they're
described very often
is as the first generation
that was raised on
TV and just this broader culture
influenced by advertising.
Here I was living
in the nitty-gritty
streets of New York
really broke.
I was excited to be there,
but I really didn't want to look
at work about it.
So, when I finally got to MoMA
and I saw what Szarkowski
is up to, I thought,
"What is going on here?"
And I didn't like it.
It's so significant
for a young artist to kind of...
kill their elders.
So since that was the first work
I looked at,
I was like,
"I want you all to go away."
Make room for me.
You're all men.
"You make small
black-and-white pictures."
And let me just say again
now I love all that work.
When you think about what was
going on in the '80s,
painting had exploded.
And then, the photographs
that were shown in museums
to kind of burst out
of the photo departments,
had to be larger scale affairs,
because the '80s were also
a time when people were
understanding in a new way
that the work of younger artists
could actually make money.
You know, when I first came
to New York in the '70s,
the idea that you would be
an artist to make money
was just laughable.
There was no money to be made.
So I think when suddenly
there was this market for art,
all of that work kind of got
a little bit pushed aside
in the museum and gallery scene.
What happened
is we have the rise
of the Chelsea galleries,
the art market...
place, whatever,
All these things.
Why should Garry be
influential on that?
Why should he?
Who could stand
looking at
a Garry Winogrand photograph
while they're eating dinner?
That kind of work,
Garry's work,
it's not easy because
the subject matter
is sometimes elusive.
Well, we entered
the dark ages really
as far as photography
is concerned,
of the love of Barth
and Foucault and all the rest
of it became
a miasma for photography.
And Garry went down
with the tide.
It's like...
His reputation
and all the rest of it.
though there's plenty
of irony in his work,
he is never ironic
about the enterprise
of art making.
He's not an Andy Warhol.
He's an anti-Warhol.
As the national culture
moved in the direction
that it's all illusion,
that every face
is really a mask,
that every statement
is really a joke,
I think that possibly Winogrand
would have seemed less relevant.
The photo
in front of Denny's on Sunset,
you can feel,
even if you don't know anything
about the equipment,
someone in their car
holding this apparatus
up like that.
And it's dutched
and it's a catastrophe.
I know
that the artist identifies
with that person in the gutter.
No one sees me. I see all.
The high and the low to me
is all about honesty.
Sometimes, you know,
not just children,
but sometimes your spouse will
say something completely poetic.
And sometimes standing
in front of a vending machine,
you might experience beauty.
It feels to me in this
and in certain other pictures
that the central figure
is a stand-in for Garry.
And he mentioned it specifically
in a later picture
of a clown being
chased by a bull,
that he said,
"That's a self-portrait."
Winogrand went on
to Los Angeles in 1978.
It was Los Angeles where
he felt
these extraordinary sources
of vulgar American energy.
You saw a landscape that was
strange sort of combination
of frontier and wasteland.
And this comes through in
the work from the Los Angeles
so that
a very powerful bleakness
comes into Winogrand's work.
Garry never really
reminisced about New York to me.
He was a man of...
living in the moment he was in.
And, to me,
what a lot of people see
as bleak in that work
is more about the place.
By the time, you know,
you're in the '80s,
Winogrand Land is pretty
beaten up and depressed place.
It's a Reaganized place
by the end, isn't it?
I mean, I've photographed
in Los Angeles.
I don't think you can do it
by foot,
but Winogrand was injured
by then. He needed a car.
He couldn't walk around.
He couldn't move and dart and...
you know, he wasn't the same
athlete as he was.
And so the car thing is because
he was in bad shape by then.
Once he left New York,
I think the notion of health
and Garry Winogrand
did become maybe the central one
of his life.
First of all, he was injured
in a football game,
breaking his leg.
And all of a sudden,
this beast of a man was...
was much less beast-like
much more vulnerable.
Then, there's also Winogrand's
personal life.
You know, one can see
a bit into that.
He was married
for his third time, it's true.
His third marriage
by the later 1970s
this seems to have been
more than a bit troubled.
Garry was living in LA
and I was in LA.
And there wasn't
the photographic community
there was in New York,
it was, you were very isolated
as an artist.
For Garry,
these friendships
that we're talking about
were central to his life.
So I think he felt
profoundly uprooted
and, in a way, lost.
You see, I don't think he would
admit to any of these feelings,
but that's the way
that I saw him.
If he was indeed lost
in the Los Angeles years,
I didn't feel it.
The thing
about the late Winogrand,
that great thing he said,
"I photograph to find out
what a thing
looks like photographed."
The horrible irony
is that by the end,
he really wasn't finding out
what things look like
because he didn't see
the results.
How much time do you
spend in your darkroom?
Do you develop your own...
I develop my own film.
I work in spurts,
I mean I... I pile it up.
How far behind are you?
Let's not get into that.
Do you count it in years?
There's two ways I'm behind.
I mean,
I'm behind developing film
and then in terms
of the printing way,
you know, it's not...
easily measurable.
Sometimes, I'm a joke.
That's the way I am,
it's the way I work, it's...
I've never felt overwhelmed,
you know what I mean?
I know it gets done.
I think one of the things
that influences me most
about Garry Winogrand
is the idea to just shoot.
Go with the gut feeling.
Sometimes, we refer to him
as sort of
the first digital photographer
in a sense that he really shot
without regard
to the economy of film,
shooting in the analog era,
but just like a machine gun.
Garry goes to Texas,
not living a place
where he has a darkroom.
This is the beginning
of the lag, the big lag.
He goes to LA,
begins a relationship
with the darkroom again
with an assistant and all that.
And you've seen the footage
of Garry looking through all
and taking out all
the undeveloped film.
Garry doesn't fall behind until
he cuts his real tie
with New York.
That he hadn't looked at
a quarter of a million pictures.
He was half a photographer.
He took amazing pictures,
but after he'd become
very famous,
he no longer managed to do
the other half,
which is look at them,
make selections.
There's no real system.
You know, it's just...
It can be pretty rough
when I gotta find a negative.
I-- I mean...
When you're younger,
you can only conceive of trying
a limited amount of things
to work with.
The more I work,
the more subject matter
I can begin to try to deal with.
The more I do, the more I do.
It's nuts.
The nature of the photographic
process, it is about failure.
Most everything I do
doesn't quite make it.
Hopefully, you are risking
failing every time
you make a frame.
He went out
and pushed himself
to make difficult pictures
to test the limits of
what a picture could contain.
And he failed a lot.
And you have to fail a lot
in order to push yourself
and to learn and to grow.
And he was willing to go
out there
and fail and fail
and fail and fail
with the hope that eventually
he'd get something
that actually worked.
I don't know quite
honestly how much longer
he could have gone on
simply photographing
more and more
and throwing
more and more cassettes
into bags without in a way,
finding that itself
deepened the despair
that's evident in the work.
Because you do need what
the pictures give back to you.
I think
that he probably
did not want to stop taking
pictures with the fantasy
that at some point
he would have to,
and he would just go through
and find everything,
not realizing that life
works the way it does.
I have climbed
The highest mountains
I have run
Through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you
I have run
I have crawled
I have scaled
These city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you
But I still...
Well, I saw him literally
in the last week of his life,
what I saw then...
I don't know, I'll start crying,
this great man... who...
who wouldn't contend with...
the active notion
of dying because...
he couldn't.
He had stopped drinking,
and he had stopped smoking,
like that was a miracle,
but it was all too late.
He was in agony
the last number of years
of his life.
And somehow,
he felt really saddened
that he wasn't in better shape,
that he couldn't...
be there more for his daughter.
You know,
she was eight when he died.
He was going down to Mexico
to fight the bull.
It was just so Garry.
His head was such seriousness...
I don't know what point it has,
but I feel...
that I should say that I was
the person who encouraged him
to go to Mexico.
That... that there might be
some kind of solution to...
the cancer.
He didn't feel it.
He was not in pain
when he went for the biopsy.
He had a biopsy...
in February.
A month later, he was dead.
Now, if he hadn't had
that biopsy,
he could have lived
with the discomfort
probably for a couple of years.
He died literally within an hour
after being checked
into this clinic.
And he was full of love, too,
at that point,
in a direct way that...
uh... I had never seen before,
experienced before.
What can I say? I really am
saddened about the end
that I didn't get
to see him again
and tell him that I loved him...
with all in everything.
For me, it was hard to let
Garry go because he had
altered my course as an artist
having met him.
After he died,
I decided to move here
one of the reasons was,
you know, I wanted to go
to the place where Garry
had made the work
that had influenced me so much.
Winogrand died in 1984
and shortly after that,
the Museum of Modern Art
embarked on the project
for his first retrospective.
And that was under
the leadership
of John Szarkowski,
the man who had done
more than anyone else
to advance Winogrand's career.
So it's natural for Szarkowski
to take on a posthumous
Winogrand project.
And Szarkowski, I think,
also felt great curiosity
about what Winogrand
had done in his later years.
He hadn't seen it.
Nobody had seen it.
We want to know what he did.
When Winogrand died
in 1984,
he left some 4,000 rolls
of film developed
but not contact printed.
And then, another 2,500 or so
rolls of film
still in their cartridges.
And so, when John Szarkowski
planned the 1988 retrospective,
he was faced
with the question of what to do
with this huge amount of work.
That was the show
that unleashed
the drama of the...
posthumous work
and how to deal with that.
And he did a great job
with some people who he trusted,
like Todd and Tom,
to go through the work,
but it's so unwieldy.
I was
one of the three editors
of the so-called
posthumous work.
John Szarkowski and Tom Roma
being the other two.
All these contact sheets,
you could look at a picture
that was made two years before,
you know, a strip.
And then, that and then,
a year ago,
it was maddening looking
through posthumously contacted.
When I got to the posthumously
developed stuff,
holy moly...
What a strange
journey Garry took us on.
Can it be theorized
that to go on photographing
for such a long time
without looking at one's work
is to commit
a sort of artistic suicide?
One can.
One might say
that Winogrand's approach
to photography came
finally to suggest
the approach of a materials
testing laboratory.
He would test
the camera's capacity
for describing life
by piling onto it heavier
and denser
and more complex loads of data,
or perhaps it is possible
that he finally used
all of his time and energy,
burning film as he put it,
because he could not face
the prospect
of looking
at what he had shot yesterday.
Szarkowski's judgment
upon seeing it was
that Winogrand lost his talent
after leaving New York
and that the work that he did
in those later years
was no good.
Was he losing something?
Was he losing
a step near the end?
And then I...
And then I discovered
what it was.
Everyone was
so reverent of Garry
that they developed
and contacted everything.
And by everything, I mean,
you know how you load
a Leica M4,
turn it upside down.
You take the film out.
You put the new roll of film in.
And then, what do you do?
You advance one, two, three.
They printed those.
They printed the waste,
the three pictures.
And once I discovered this,
I went back and back
and back and back
and I could draw a direct line.
You see Garry's feet
sticking out.
So you'll know how to fix
this part.
And then...
you see these two little feet
sticking in.
It's Melissa.
He put her on his shoulders,
tried to photograph.
he was holding a hand.
All these frames where he
couldn't move through the crowd,
couldn't get there.
Something interesting
is going on,
couldn't get there,
the physicality.
So, that, that's what I saw
in those contact sheets.
Garry left New York,
he left his darkroom.
He gets to LA,
he's with his daughter who he...
couldn't bear
to be away from after
not being
with his other two kids.
He never left those two kids,
his wife left him.
So, the pictures looked
the way they do
because there was an author
who was a human being,
standing in a place,
sometimes not exactly
where he wanted to be.
But he kept working.
That's the only light
that there is.
I mean.
That's a funny term,
you know, I use flash,
that's available light.
There's a lot of funny terms
in photography
that really describes nothing.
What photograph
isn't a still life?
You know, somebody once said
to me,
"Your photographs are
about action and motion."
I said,
"No. They're about stillness,"
and that's what they're about,
if you look at them.
I know that a lot
of his friends and admirers
disagree with me,
but I think that he was
really on to something
with the late work
in Los Angeles.
The 1988 retrospective
happened very soon
after Winogrand's death.
And I think they were all
in mourning.
I think that...
prestige was so great
that I think that having heard
his judgment about Winogrand's
later years
people perhaps shied away
from looking again.
I think everyone's
wrong about Garry.
I don't think he got worse.
I think maybe the world
got worse.
Nobody's really got to grips
with late Winogrand
and Szarkowski just discounted
it all too much.
the great challenge, I think,
for curators,
late Winogrand because
just whether the eye
has the stamina
to find the riches
that one believes are there.
He gave a public lecture
and somebody asked him,
"Well, how many pictures
do you have to take
to take a great one?"
Meaning the monkeys will
eventually type War and Peace
if you have enough monkeys
and enough typewriters.
I find the question tedious.
I find the conclusions
that people draw from it
totally off-the-wall.
Garry Winogrand becomes
the 347,000 rolls of film
that he shot
and never developed.
You know, this Frankenstein
of photographic exposure.
It really deflects
the question away from him.
And what he actually
It's a dramatic fact
in itself
that he continued
to make pictures
without feeling the necessity
of developing or printing them,
but it's not what's most
interesting about the work.
When we listen
to late Coltrane,
which is it's
a right old racket,
but it's not late Coltrane
in the sense that it's where he
was finally going to arrive at.
He got suddenly ill
and then, it stopped.
And everyone says that during
that phase of Coltrane's life
actually what he was doing
was maybe trying to find
some way onto the next phase.
You know, so it's a kind of,
not late so much as penultimate.
I feel that something's similar
with Winogrand.
There is
no such thing as a definitive
but I think he's a rich enough,
complex enough
artist that once a generation
might merit going back
into the work,
digging in,
seeing what it means.
The pictures
are taking me
in a direction of what
I expect from art, which is
to see things
through another person's eyes
and to feel less lonely.
Did he really want
anybody to see them?
I don't know.
Garry, I don't know.
I got to believe that...
he did.
And by the way, all of this is
changed if you add 100 years.
What can you actually learn
from looking at the pictures
is trust your gut.
There is no substitute
for impulse.
You have to have
some social skills.
Such a bastard.
Such a... he...
You know, he never lost
any of his power
to surprise,
his power to be in truth
with what he cared about.
although he may have made
a million exposures in his life,
thought of them all
as independent mysteries.
His world was a world
made up of energy,
ambition, desperate loneliness
and unfamiliar beauty.
After everything Garry did,
we want Garry now to tell us
what it's about,
anything else?
You want him
to clean your house?
He took the pictures.
That's it.
Ooh, we were little boys
Ooh, we were little girls
It's nine o'clock don't try
To turn it off
Cowered in a hole
Opie mouth
Did we miss anything?
Did we miss anything?
Ooh, we were little boys
Ooh, we were little girls
It's nine o'clock
Don't try to turn it off
Cowered in a hole
Opie mouth
We in step in hand
Your mother remembers this
Hear the howl of the rope
A question
Did we miss anything?
Did we miss anything?
Did we miss anything?
Could be darker
Could be darker
Ooh, we were little boys
Ooh, we were little girls
It's nine o'clock
Don't try to turn it off
Cowered in a hole
Opie mouth
We in step in hand
Your mother remembers this
Hear the howl of the rope
A question
Did we miss anything?
Did we miss anything?
Did we miss anything?
It seems...
It is amazing sometimes, uh...
I'm astonished, you know.
The things that...
It almost seems like I bought
a ticket to a show.