W. o’ W.: Gustave Flaubert

So… where were we? Oh, yes…

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” -Gustave Flaubert




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.

Harry Callahan’s Fatalism


“I think that if you look at meaningful art, it only comes from some individual who’s out of place. Most teachers know all the right things. But I can’t arrive at any so-called answer for anything. I’ve finally reached the point where I think it’s hopeless to think you know. Your life and my life are only one second in relation to the millions of years of life on earth. Whether it’s genes or whatever, something just determines that you can run a hundred yards in five seconds or that you’re going to be a great artist! You have the equipment to do these things. Like Robert Rauschenberg says, ‘I don’t know where this gift came from.’ It’s the most ridiculous thing, but it’s the truth.”


Tod Papageorge


“Taking so many pictures taught me a lot, even unconsciously, about being out in the world and using a camera to make pictures.  It also taught me a lot about different picture forms, and the use of space.  Many students today are completely ignorant about that, so the pictures are generally something plopped in the center of the frame and digitally printed to 40×50.  I shouldn’t castigate the students, but it turns up in the galleries too, and it’s just not very interesting; it’s not very satisfying as a visual experience.”

(As is often the case at http://mpdrolet.tumblr.com -ed.)

“Maybe it’s simply a case of finding a number of interestingly tormented people.  Garry Winogrand, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander – they were all lunatics.”


John Pfahl



“At that time there was a lot of conceptual art around which was documented by photographic means, but generally without any formal or even photographic interest. Nothing was there but the idea, and it was preferably shown in its most minimal form — as a poorly lighted, exposed, and printed black and white photo. You could not get lost in the print itself; you were always confronted with the idea.



“I always felt that one of the basic beauties of the medium of photography was that there could be many levels of interpretation; a certain richness of multiple meanings. That is where I veered away from conceptual art. My photographs exist completely as photographs, with all the complexity intact, not merely as illustrations of literal concepts. I like to consider them more as formal experiments dealing with the properties, history, and aesthetics of photography and concept of illusion, beauty, and landscape.”


Wynton’s Guidelines


No, not that Wynton.

1. Seek out the best private instruction you can afford.

2. Write/work out a regular practice schedule.

3. Set realistic goals.

4. Concentrate when practicing

5. Relax and practice slowly

6. Practice what you can’t play. – (The hard parts.)

7. Always play with maximum expression.

8. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

9. Don’t show off.

10. Think for yourself. – (Don’t rely on methods.)

11. Be optimistic. – “Music washes away the dust of everyday life.”

12. Look for connections between your music and other things.

Golden Silver Nuggets, from Lee Friedlander

…and from Richard Benson. Given the relative paucity of Friedlander’s statements, this is gold, Jerry, gold.


W. o’ W.: Ned Rorem


“Anyone can express himself. The important thing is whittling it down. The mere fact of whittling is for effect. Everything is for effect.”


W. o’ W.: Buster Williams


W. o’ W.: Maria Bustillos

“Reading on-screen tempts us to see things only through the pinhole of our immediate curiosity. I don’t mean to sentimentalize the Reading of Books, but as a practical matter, when you hold a book in your hands, it is very different from what happens when you are typing something onto a glassy, featureless screen. Online, your experience is personalized, but it is also atomized, flattened and miniaturized, robbed of its landscape. Physical books require you to literally hold some of the context of what you are reading, and that is a crucial dimension of understanding.”