The Uneasy Streets of Garry Winogrand
Most people who walk through a city ignore it - or, more precisely ignore the other people in it. Garry Winogrand did the opposite. He spent most of his waking life hunting down his fellow citizens on the streets of Manhattan, watching, looking and photographing. Winogrand's photography defines an American decade, the 1960s, in a way comparable to Robert Frank in the 1950s and Walker Evans in the 1930s. The formal turbulence of his images - with their dynamic, tilted viewpoints, their grainy immediacy, their frenetic crowds and drifting strangers - matches the political turbulence of the Vietnam years, and provides the defining portrait of a society caught unawares.
Karin Apollonia Muller
Winogrand's New York work is complemented in the work of contemporary German photographer, Karin Apollonia MÃ¼ller, with images of another great American metropolis, Los Angeles: the city of fantasy, futurism, celebrity and noir.
One of the most exciting new photogarphers to emerge in recent years, MÃ¼ller brings a European, neo-romantic sensibility to bear on the quintessential 21st city. Where Winogrand's streets are described in combative close-up, viewed from the ground up, MÃ¼ller's camera floats above the city, looking down from above. Great sweeps of Los Angeles unfold across the surface of her photographs, and then evaporate at the edges into sky or desert or ocean. In this technopolis people live and work and yet find themselves dwarfed by the elaborate iinfrastructures they have created around themselves. Miniscule figures appear in the distance, often no more than specks on the horizon. A lone man carries his mattress across a vast parking lot; a figure kneels in lonely, desperate prayer in a public park; another lies under a tarpulin, perhaps dead or simply abandoned in the surrounding wasteland. Winogrand's jostling streets, full of nervous energy and human immediacy, are exchanged in MÃ¼ller's vision for a beautiful, dream-like metropolis, in which people find themselves estranged from each other, and the spaces they inhabit.
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