Sunday, April 07, 2019

The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand, essays by Geoff Dyer

This hefty book of photographs is worth dealing with its weight, both visually and editorially.  There are 100 photographs, each accompanied by a short essay. These explications by Dyer bring the art of photography into a perspective that is easily accessible.  They can be technical, they can be humorous, they can involve current events, historical events, often just be a discussion of what is in the photo but not necessarily obvious to the viewer.

Parts of a bookcase can accommodate large books, and were for years holding mainly books of paintings, books inherited or purchased with the purpose of having access to works of art here.  They were occasionally looked at and useful for reference and for education.  Mostly they were ornamental, reassuring to look at the spines.  New additions were rare.  But then...

Perusing Amazon last year, photography books became interesting.  The economics of these books is unclear, seemingly expensive to produce and to ship.  Not my problem, they can be wonderful finds.  The Bronx born and raised Winogrand traveled widely, and he photographed a range of people in surroundings that accentuate their uniqueness.  The multi-faceted writer Dyer, novelist, historian, critic, observer, has long been a favorite here.  Everything he has written is here and has been read, at times commented on.

To act like a reviewer --- if you only buy one photography book, buy this one.


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