Monday, July 14, 2014

Garry Winogrand, At the aquarium...

One of the places Garry Winogrand enjoyed taking pictures was the aquarium. Which we all agree is a picturesque place, albeit a place with lighting issues.

What are you looking at?

The Garry Winogrand Archive, Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona

It is a photo of a man cleaning a glass tank whilst a whale of some kind swims past him. I see the whale's face but not the man's. The whale's eye is optically the center of the photo. The  triptych of the three windows are the whale's past, present and future. He sees into the present neither looking back or ahead.

The window washers blade forms a cross with the whale's mouth. We think of Jesus, of Jonah and the Whale, and the wretched voyage of the Pequod occasioned by a shot of a whale swimming alone in his tank.

The photographer's art is the exchange of images. The camera shows what is and the viewer decides what it means. 

Winnogrand is quoted as saying, "Sometimes I feel like . . . the world is a place I bought a ticket to. It’s a big show for me, as if it wouldn’t happen if I wasn’t there with a camera."

What great artist isn't a narcissist? 

And what great artist doesn't have some dude in a suit giving him the fish eyes.


  1. If I cultivate my narcissism will my art improve?

  2. That is a marriage Zen Koan. No right answer. Thank you for commenting on my blog and for being married to me. I am appreciate it. And am a big fan of your work.