Art After Death

Arthur Lubow has a deep piece up on The New York Times about a posthumous retrospective of Gary Winogrand’s work now on display at the Museum of Modern Art. It’s a very posthumous show – when Winogrand died in 1984, he left some 2,500 rolls of film that hadn’t even been processed.

Lubow’s piece wrestles with some deep questions about photography and whether the mechanical act of clicking a camera’s shutter creates the art of whether it’s the interpretation as shown in the final print that matters more.

My take: The reflexive move of a twitching finger is the note taking, the editing process (meaning selection more than toning) allows the meaning to come through. By deciding which frames matter, the photographer tells a story. The sequence of frames made can lead you to the final story, the image that matters, but not every click matters.

But now I need to think about this in much greater depth … and, thanks to my friend Billy Weeks who shared the piece, I think I have to buy him lunch and get his thoughts on it.

Mark E. Johnson

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