Garry Winogrand is considered one of the most powerful photographers of the 20th century. He was known as the one who showed the American life and culture of the middle of the 20th century. He created his black-and-white photos primarily on the streets of New York City capturing spontaneous moments of stranger’s everyday life which reflected the social issues, revolutionary sentiments, and other perturbations of the time. Here are eight things to know about this legendary photographer:

Fact 1: Winogrand was the child of Jewish immigrants. His parents came to the United States from Budapest and Warsaw right before the Great Depression.

Fact 2: He was fascinated by art since his early years, so the decision where to go to receive an education was quite simple and evident. Winogrand finished high school in 1946, and then, after one year of military service, he studied at the City College of New York till 1948. That year, Winogrand moved to Columbia University where he studied painting. It was there where he discovered photography for the first time due to the school newspaper’s photographer, George Zimbel who showed him the 24-hour darkroom. It was love at first sight and for the entire life.

Fact 3: Winogrand sold his first pictures to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1960. It was the curator of photography, Edward Steichen, who paid ten dollars for each photo. Three years later, one of the important exhibitions for Winogrand took place at Five Unrelated Photographers at the Museum. His works were shown at a group exhibition along with the art of Minor White, George Krause, Jerome Liebling, and Ken Heyman.

Fact 4: Garry Winogrand stood at the origins of the so-called ‘snapshot aesthetic’. His poorly composed images which seem to be chaotic due to the tilted frame allow the audience to perceive common subjects in a new perspective. The approach had a great impact on the following generation of photographers, such as Nan Goldin, William Eggleston, and Wolfgang Tillmans, who discovered in their turn the new potential of photography as a medium and as a mode of expression.

Fact 5: Garry Winogrand was the author of the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe in a flying-up white dress when she was at the set of the movie The Seven Year Itch in 1955.

Fact 6: Winogrand didn’t like the notion ‘street photographer’ because he thought it expressed nothing about what his work really was.

Fact 7: During his lifetime, Winogrand received the Guggenheim Fellowship three times and was also a recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. His photos appeared in such periodicals like Popular Photography, Eros, Contemporary Photographer, and Photography Annual.

Fact 8: Although Garry Winogrand died at the height of his powers, he left a huge amount of invaluable images estimated for about 5.4 million photographs and 300,000 unedited images. Besides, many of his late works remained unfinished after his death.

But these facts are just a tiny part of Garry Winogrand’s life. That’s why we urge you to visit and read the photographer’s biography. Besides, there’s an album of Winogrand’s most prominent works on our website. Enjoy!

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