INTERVIEW // JOEL MEYEROWITZ ON WHAT HE LEARNED ABOUT STREET PHOTOGRAPHY FROM GARRY WINOGRAND

By David Walker

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“New York City, 1963,” by Joel Meyerowitz. From 1962 to 1965, Meyerowitz and Garry Winogrand “pounded the streets every day” with their cameras cocked and ready, looking for the “fragment of perception that stimulated our consciousness,” Meyerowitz recalls.

When we asked photographers to define “street photography,” they cited the work of several photographers as examples: Helen Levitt, Eugène Atget, Diane Arbus and William Klein, among others. But the photographer most frequently mentioned is Garry Winogrand (1928-1984). To photographers who knew Winogrand personally and those who know him only through his incongruous, witty work, he epitomizes the genre. Photographer...

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Source (https://www.pdnonline.com)

Five Tips from Joel Meyerowitz

Alongside a preview of his new book, ‘Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself’, the photographer gives us a masterclass in the medium

  • TEXT Douglas Greenwood

New York City, 1965

New York City, 1965

The street has always been a place where life unfolds unexpectedly. For the past 56 years, American photographer Joel Meyerowitz has tried his best to capture as much of it as he can.

Now considered one of the founding fathers of the medium, Meyerowitz found himself at the epicentre of a movement when he first picked up a camera in early 1960s New York City. Shooting in colour was considered crass back then – used only for commercial purposes – but as it was all that he had to hand, he was able to capture the chaos and jubilance of a generation in crisp, vibrant detail. It would be the start of a highly influential career that saw Meyerowitz create some of the most admired collections of 20th century photography, including Cape Light, his series shot over a summer in Cape Cod, Massachusetts; and his beautiful photos of shorelines at dusk in Bay/Sky.

Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself is the biggest published retrospective of his photography to date. Presented to the reader in reverse order, it chronicles Meyerowitz’s best work, from his sobering photos of a post-9/11 New York City in mourning to his romantic, mid-20th century shots of the carefree lives of those living in towns and cities across America.

“[It was] a bittersweet and yet fascinating experience to look at 50,000 photographs and say goodbye to most of them,” says Meyerowitz. All of that work brought him to where he is today. Having recently celebrated his 80th birthday, he still continues to take still-life photographs of objects he finds in the junkyards of his Tuscan town.

New York City, 1975

New York City, 1975

Now, Meyerowitz says times have changed for street photographers – particularly those looking to capture an organic, fleeting moment. “[Back then], you could feel the sensual mix on the street,” he says. “Today, it’s very different. Most people have a cell phone to their ear, or are communicating – they think – with others. They’re somewhat distanced from the real world, so it’s not as sensual, erotic or playful as it used to be.”

That doesn’t mean modern photographers can’t adopt the style to make beautiful pictures, though. Here, Joel Meyerowitz shares five tips on how to take masterful, honest photographs of life on the street.

  1. Be prepared to act on impulse

  2. Ask yourself: ‘What am I doing out here?’

  3. Connect disconnected things

  4. Carve out your identity

  5. Be vocal

Source (http://www.anothermanmag.com)

"Great Journeys" Magnum Photos Square Print Sale with Aperture Foundation

October 30, 8 A.M. EST to November 3, 6 P.M. EST only
Signed or estate-stamped, 6x6" museum quality prints for $100

Band member at parade. Bangalore, India. 2016 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos

I recently went to India to study ‘laughter yoga’ in hopes of learning how to make happy pictures. But my best photograph still ended up looking a little sad.” - Alec Soth

On the occasion of Magnum’s 70th anniversary and Aperture Foundation’s 65th, the two storied organizations have joined forces to present Great Journeys, inspired by Magnum co-founder, the photographer George Rodger.

Rodger’s response to the experience of World War II, and in particular his revulsion to photographing scenes of the Holocaust, led him to re-evaluate his purpose as a photographer. After the war, Rodger chose to travel in search of pictures that offered visions of hope for humanity.

Cheshire, Ohio II. 2004 © Mitch Epstein courtesy Aperture

I went to Cheshire, Ohio, in 2003 to make pictures of a town that had been bought out by American Electric Power. The townspeople had been complaining of toxic contamination from the local coal-fired power plant, and had agreed, for a price, to keep silent and never sue AEP. It was when I returned home to New York, and couldn’t get Cheshire and its residents out of my mind, that I began the series ‘American Power,’ in an effort to understand how energy functions: who makes it; who and what gets hurt by it; who profits from it; and what might be its, and therefore the nation’s, future.” - Mitch Epstein

Magnum Photos and Aperture have a long and diverse shared history, and together have invited photographers - either members of Magnum or published by Aperture, and often, both - to respond to the theme Great Journeys with an image from their archive, as well as accompanying text.

Scotty’s Drive in. Florida. 1967 © Joel Meyerowitz courtesy Aperture

Here’s Scotty’s Sometimes when you’re traveling in the car all day, on the lookout for life on the fly, a great thirst comes over you and that desire for the next event evaporates immediately upon seeing an old-fashioned diner, I mean the real thing, not some dolled-up imitation serving prepackaged crap, but a place where some degree of reverence for the past lets you know that a milkshake from childhood can be found there. And here’s Scotty’s. Mmmmmm”

Both individually and collectively, their responses highlight the major visual and thematic threads that have preoccupied the past seven decades of photographic production, shedding light on Rodger’s legacy, and redefining the concept of journey in photographic terms.

These photographs are a selection from this project and is temporarily available for purchase as a signed, museum quality Magnum Square Print, exceptionally priced at just $100.

Liberation Day Tea at the Forest United Methodist Church. Guernsey. 2012 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

The Channel Islands were the only part of Britain that were taken over by the Nazis during the Second World War. They were liberated on May 9, 1945: This day is now called Liberation Day and continues to be celebrated on all of the islands every year. I had wanted to shoot the events around May 9 in the Channel Islands for many years and did so in 2012, travelling to the Islands to make pictures of the 68th anniversary celebrations of the liberation. This is an image from a 'Liberation Tea' at a small Methodist church on Guernsey, a day when Union Jacks are ubiquitous.” - Martin Parr

The edition is not limited by quantity, but limited by time. This Square Print is only available for purchase between October 30, 2017, at 8 A.M. EST and November 3, 2017, at 6 P.M. EST.

All signed Magnum Square Prints are signed on either the front or back, depending on the photographer's preference. Estate-stamped prints are stamped on the back. Each photographer's accompanying text is printed on an archival label that is affixed to the back of the print.

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INTERVIEW // “Robert Frank, Sarah Greenough, Ed Ruscha and Joel Meyerowitz on ‘The Americans'” (2009)

A half century ago, one photographer took to the road, visiting, bars, factories, cemeteries, documenting a country in transition. His book was called, The Americans, his name, Robert Frank. 

Hitchhikers leaving Blackfoot, Idaho towards Butte, Montana, 1956

(Transcript from a Tom Cole / NPR segment, 2009)

 

Cole: The Americans was actually reviled when it was first published in this country, say Sarah Greenough, who curated the current National Gallery show.

Greenough: Popular Photography asked a number of writers to critique the book, and almost all of them were very negative. It was described as a sad poem by a very sick person.

Cole: The Americans offered a very different view of America than the wholesome non-confrontational photo essays offered by such magazines as Popular Photography, and Life. Robert Frank captured people who were not always sharing in the American dream of the 1950’s; factory workers in Detroit, transvestites in New York, the black riders in a segregated trolley in New Orleans. He didn’t even get much support from the art world, as he recalled in 1994, the last time the National Gallery mounted a show of his work.

Robert Frank: The Museum of Modern Art wouldn’t even sell the book, you know. I mean, certain things one doesn’t forget so easy. But, the younger people caught on,

Joel Meyerowitz: It was the vision that emanated from the book that lead not only me, but my whole generation of photographers out into the American landscape, in a sense, the lunatic sublime of America.

Cole: Joel Meyerowitz was one of the young photographers inspired by The Americans. So were Garry Winogrand, and Lee Friedlander, and Ed Ruscha.

Ed Ruscha: Robert Frank came out here and he just showed that you could see the USA until you spit blood.

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Source (http://www.americansuburbx.com/)