Garry Winogrand specialized in street photography. The photographer grew up in New York’s Jewish dominated working class borough, Bronx at that time. His mother made neckties and father worked in the leather factory.
Winogrand went to City College of New York to study painting and from Columbia University he polished his painting skills and learned photography in 1948. Three years later, he joined The New School for Social Research to learn photojournalism under Alexey Brodovich in New York.
Two photos by Winogrand were displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in an exhibition called The Family Man, in 1955. Four years later, his first solo exhibition happened in New York’s Image Gallery. In 1963, he appeared in Five Unrelated Photographers at MoMA. Other names included in the exhibition were Ken Heyman, Jerome Liebling, George Krause and Minor White. Later on, in 1966 he showed his work in Rochester at New York’s George Eastman House with Danny Lyon, Bruce Davidson, Duane Michals and Lee Friedlander. The name of the exhibition was Toward a Social Landscape. In 1967, Garry Winogrand participated along with Friedlander and Diane Arbus, in a show at MoMA, titled New Documents. In 1964, he received the Guggenheim Fellowship Award to visit across America. A part of his work was displayed in the exhibition New Documents. It was curated by John Szarkowski and when Szarkowski became MoMA’s Director of Photography, he became the reviewer and editor of Winogrand’s photographic work.
In the 60s, he took pictures of the New York City streets with Diane Arbus, Tod Papageorge, Lee Frienlander and Joel Meyerowitz. His photography highlights social issues and the way in which media shapes attitudes. In 1969, he published his first photo book The Animals, including photographs of the Aquarium in Cooney Island and Bronx Zoo. The collection portrayed the association between animals and humans. In 1969, he was given a second Guggenheim Fellowship in order to continue exploring media effects on people and their events. Garry Winogrand used 700 film rolls at public events shooting 6,500 photo prints to be selected for the book and exhibition Public Relations in 1977.
The Center of Creative Photography has 20,000 pieces of work and the equal number of contact sheets by Winogrand for his archive. In addition, there are 30,500 color slides and 100,000 photo negatives as well as some Polaroid pictures and some motion films.
In 1975, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship was given to Winogrand. In 1979, he received his third Guggenheim Fellowship and then went on to work in Los Angeles documenting California. There he used 8522 film rolls.
Apart from social photography, Winogrand did commercial photography as well from 1952 to 1954 in Manhattan at the Pix Photo Agency and afterwards he worked for Brackman Associates.
Moreover, Winogrand also taught at educational institutions. From 1971 for a year, in Chicago at Illinois Institute of Technology he was the photography professor at the Institute of Design there. He also provided his teaching services to the University of Texas, Austin from 1973 to 1978.
It was 1952 that Winogrand married and then got a divorce in 1966. He had two children. He remarried a year later after his separation but broke his relation in 1969. Later, in 1972, he married for the third time.
In 1984, Winogrand died at the age of 56 because of cancer.