With the help of a friend, I recently acquired a copy of a hard to find and out of print book titled “Winogrand 1964″. This 1st and only edition had a print run of 5000 copies before the publisher, Arena Editions went bust. Nowadays, copies of the book are sold anywhere from US$200 to over US$500, secondhand!
I’ve been a fan of Garry Winogrand’s work since I bought a retrospective book of his work titled “Winogrand: Figments from the Real World” a couple of years ago. His photographic work from another book titled “Garry Winogrand: The Animals“ has been a great influence on my ongoing Zoo project. Winogrand died of gall bladder cancer at the young age of 56 in 1984. It is recorded that he left behind 2,500 undeveloped rolls of 35mm film and 6,500 rolls of film that had been developed but not yet contact-printed. That amounts to about 300,000 unedited images altogether which he took and never even saw!
The photographs in “Winogrand 1964” are the result of his Guggenheim fellowship funded 4 month long cross-country trip across America in 1964. He drove a black 1957 Ford Fairlane which was given to him by his friend and fellow photographer Lee Friedlander. He wrote on November 27, 1964:-
I left New York in mid-June and returned late in October. The time was spent driving through the country in a slow moving car photographing all the time.
In his grant application to the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, he wrote the following statement:-
I look at the pictures I have 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, 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.
“Winogrand 1964” features 165 duotone (black & white) and 30 color photographs with most of the images previously unpublished. Before getting this book, I had only seen Winogrand’s black and white work and was looking forward to seeing some of his color work. His color work did not disappoint! His use of color and shape are masterful and it left me wanting to see more of his color work. I hope one day a publisher will produce of a book of his color work.
Here are a a few shots of the book.