Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Garry Winogrand #2: Untitled: Blogger in the dark

Garry Winogrand, Untitled [Sailor on Street], 1950; At SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)

The internet does not do this photo justice. The interplay of dark and light, the loneliness and freedom are not captured by the computer monitor. When I saw the print of the photo at the Met, the image struck me as so metaphorical that I couldn't hardly believe it. (Also it is a blast to be at the Met. I am not dissing the Art Institute but the Met is way bigger. And it has the temple of Dendor)

Selfie at Temple of Dendor.

Lonely sailors at home. Great theme right. Is this guy relieved to be on dry land or terrified at being in the strange land called home?

What strikes me are the street lights playing against the gray of the sky. The sailor is walking away from the light. Somewhere the kid (GW)from Bronx is snapping his photo. The composition is painterly. And so real that I can hear the next footfall that he takes on the street.

Is it optimism or abject resignation? It is a picture of a guy on a deserted street but what is the sailor thinking.

Garcia and Grisman's drunken sailor. (start of 40 second to avoid tuning)

Or the Village People's very happy mariner. (as interpreted by the Muppets)

1 comment:

  1. Well, if the temple of Dendor has anything to do with it, it's the happy mariner. From the Met's entry on the T of D: "Lining the temple base are carvings of papyrus and lotus plants that seem to grow from water, symbolized by figures of the Nile god Hapy."