I knew the name Garry Winogrand and was vaguely familiar with his work but apparently he's a much BIGGER NAME than I recall, at least with regard to his photos.
While researching artwork for a potential documentary video I may be asked to produce I was browsing the list of lecture at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. I stumbled upon a lecture and book signing for Winogrand.
Just how does a photographer and his/her photographs rise to a level that warrants exhibition at the National Gallery? Well, anyway, here's info about the exhibit...
Washington, DC—The first retrospective in 25 years of work by artist Garry Winogrand—renowned photographer of New York City and postwar American life—will be on view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 2 through June 8, 2014. Revealing the full breadth of his art for the first time, Garry Winogrand brings together some 190 of the artist's most iconic images—many never before exhibited or reproduced.
Of course, I'd love to be present for the lecture and view the exhibit but I'm 520 miles southwest and I don't have any business trips up there planned, at least as of now. Maybe I will make it up there before the exhibit closes June 8.
So, how does a photographer rise to the level of say, Garry Winogrand, at least with regard to exhibiting in the National Gallery of Art. The first prerequisite is to have taken great photos that many people have an interest in seeing.
Here's a bit of Wikipedia about him, "
Garry Winogrand (14 January 1928, New York City – 19 March 1984, Tijuana, Mexico) was a street photographer known for his portrayal of the United States in the mid-20th century. John Szarkowski called him the central photographer of his generation.
Winogrand was known for his portrayal of American life in the early 1960s. Many of his photographs depict the social issues of his time and in the role of media in shaping attitudes."
I suppose that in addition to great photos that people are interested in viewing there's an accompanying life among other great personages and a long history of published photos, book publishing, and exhibits. There are probably other factors too but I suspect persistence and "staying in the game" is a strong factor too.
Devoting a life to the art of making pictures AND being in the right place at the right time AND knowing the "right people" helps immensely, I suspect. It remains to be seen whether great photos that people want to see is enough.
That reminds me of my high-school friend Dan Garson. He traveled to Woodstock for the famous concert and came back with lots of pictures. Not such a big deal at the time but many years later they were published in a book that was lauded. It's an interesting story and I'll tell it with more detail in a later post.