April 1 Winogrand

On Joerg Colberg‘s Conscientious web site you can read all about the forthcoming publication of ‘The Complete Winogrand‘. Perhaps what really made me sure I was reading it on April 1 was the suggestion that he only took 300,000 pictures!

But elsewhere¬† on the web – or if you take a trip to the Quad Gallery at Derby before May 8 – you can really see some of Winogrand’s colour street photography. I first came across these on Facebook, but I think it’s better to look at them on Nick Turpin’s sevensevennine blog,¬† where they are accompanied by the answer given to Turpin by Joel Meyerowitz about Winogrand’s attitude to colour (the pictures are from Meyorwitz’s personal collection.) In essence I think Meyerowitz suggests that it was the problems at the time over colour printing that led to him not making a great deal of this work, although he happily showed slide presentations of it.

It is an interesting set of 20 images that clearly relate to the concerns of his black and white work, and I think – though I’ve not tried it – that several of them would probably be better pictures in black and white, while others clearly need and use colour.¬† There are two of his colour images, dated ca 1963, in Bystander, but I think neither is a particularly good example of his work.

Looking at his newly published colour pictures, perhaps the first thing that hits me is how poor the colour is, that faded filmic look (which I know some love.) For me it is a barrier that I have to get over to see some of these pictures, though there are one or two it suits rather well. I’m not sure why they are like this, but if it reflects the prints that he had made back then I think he was generally right to stick to black and white.

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