Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dreams Are Free

If you're a street fan and you have a few thousand extra dollars burning a hole in your pocket, eBay currently has several Winogrand prints for sale at discount prices. They're offered by photo dealer Katrina Doerner, from an edition of 80 portfolios printed under his supervision in 1981. Note that discount is a relative term here. The Buy-It-Now levels range from $1400 to $3200. That's still a lot of money, but it's actually not much for an original Winogrand. Assuming you're loaded.
from Women Are Beautiful, Garry Winogrand
The prints are all from Women Are Beautiful, which is probably the Winogrand series I'm least familiar with simply because the book has never been reprinted. Not only is it his least acclaimed book, it received quite a bit of flak when it was published (1975) for objectifying women. All of which drove the work into partial obscurity. We've seen glimpses here and there but they've always been overshadowed by his more famous images. Sadly the monograph which was timed to mark the pinnacle of his career has instead become a sort of dead zone for him.

I don't really know how these things work --maybe a large collection was liquidated or deaccessioned?-- but for whatever reason Women Are Beautiful seems to be having a resurgence. They've been exhibited here and here and here recently. I expect to see some of them turn up at the big Winogrand hullabaloo next Spring at SFMoMA, along with a lot of other long lost treasures.

I can't wait to see them in person. In the meantime I've had fun exploring them online. The eBay images are large and well-reproduced so one can get a pretty good sense of what's in them. Even though they're out of my price range a guy can still dream for free, right?

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