Garry Winogrand, Speaking Plainly

From a 1977 interview published in Afterimage.


Q: Do you think that photography can be taught at all? In a school?

Garry Winogrand: You can discuss it; you don’t create photographers, if that’s what you’re asking.  Is there a school that’s responsible for the creation of a photographer- or any artist?  Come on.  No.  Out of the question.  I don’t care whether you’re talking about graduate students or undergraduate students. I’m in an art department, so I’m talking about photography, I’m talking about painting, sculpture– there isn’t anybody who I would bet a nickel on, that two years out of school they’re going to be doing anything they’ve been studying.

Q: People doing anything, or anything interesting?

Winogrand:  Well, doing anything related to what they’re doing in school.  The fact is that during your time you’re in school your life is designed for you to do the work.  That’s what school’s about.  When you get out of school, nobody gives a shit.  You’ve got to make a living, you may even have a kid to feed– who the hell knows?  Nobody cares whether you make a picture or not. So, it ends up you, your own passions, for the thing that are going to be tested.

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