Central Park Zoo-New York, New York
Since Winogrand took this photograph of a white woman and a Black man, each holding a chimpanzee dressed in children’s clothing, many critics have noted the picture’s deliberate ambiguity—not only about the circumstances of how these figures came to be here, but also about the way Winogrand chose to frame them with his camera, cutting out most of the surrounding context.
During the 1960s, Winogrand became increasingly reluctant to speak about the “meaning” of his photographs, preferring to focus on their form and technique, in spite of their excessive narrative potential. Perhaps this was a reaction against his photojournalistic and advertising work, which was often illustrative. Winogrand would cite Susan Sontag’s influential essay “Against Interpretation” (1964), which deplored the growing impulse at the time to reduce works of art to their content in order to make them mean something. She argued, like Winogrand, in favor of the pleasure and poetry of seeing.
Gelatin silver print
1967; reprinted 1974
Other (Mount): 14 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. (37.5 x 50.2 cm)
Image: 8 9/16 x 12 7/8 in. (21.7 x 32.7 cm) (show scale)
Signed in graphite, lower right: "Garry Winogrand"
Gift of Renata Shapiro
This item is not on view
Garry Winogrand (American, 1928-1984). Central Park Zoo-New York, New York, 1967; reprinted 1974. Gelatin silver print, Other (Mount): 14 3/4 x 19 3/4 in. (37.5 x 50.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Renata Shapiro, 83.266.10. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: , 83.266.10_PS9.jpg)
overall, 83.266.10_PS9.jpg., 2019
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© The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
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