10 March 2011

GARRY WINOGRAND - Women are beautiful

Deary me. I've left it a bit long, haven't I.

Last week  I was invited to the Inauguración of Garry Winogrand's Women are Beautiful at a very pleasant, privately owned artspace called Foto Colectania in Gracia (a stone's throw, or dos manzanas from the Gracia FGC train stop).

Of course, the only reason people really go to the opening of exhibitions is to stand around looking clever in a cultured sort of way with our thick-rimmed glasses, while we coincidentally happen to be drinking our own body weight of the free booze provided. You can imagine the sort of hoo-haa caused when the barman announced to the four-deep queue at the bar that there was actually only ONE BOTTLE of wine left twenty minutes into the grand opening - It was carnage. One middle-aged woman at the front had the nerve to get a refill.....she left soon afterwards.

The idea of mustering the energy to traipse to an art exhibition in the back-end of Barcelona (ok, the Gracia district - whatever) at 8 o'clock on a Thursday evening without even one measly copa of corner-shop Rioja to reward myself for being so fina and cultured (after having soberly slogged my guts out all week, I might add), was simply too much to bear.

And of course, the Spanish, not being first in the queue (hah!) when patience and manners (or our version of manners, at least) were being handed out, were simply outraged. Especially (dare i say it?...) the catalans.

Our nonchalant attitudes soon turned sour and what could have been a pleasant hour or so of liaising and quaffing turned into a quick turnaround and a run to the nearest drinking hole.

So yeah......Winnogrand. He's alright, if you like that sort of thing.

Poor old Winnogrand, it wasn't his fault the hosts left us dry. But I suppose it wasn't their fault either.  It was our fault for all wanting to go and gawp at beautiful black and white photographs of sixties women who are now well into middle and old age at the same time as everyone else.

His photos were as aesthetically pleasing as most of the women he photographed. At the exhibition I loved him for loving women. My boyfriend said the same. But it's not the fact that he loves women - what heterosexual man doesn't love a good woman? - but the fact that he loves women in all their brilliant, gossiping, nosy, alluring, fabulous, glamorous and visceral, mental glory. It was the sixties and he was photographing the transformation of women in the flesh, on the street. His images are a testament to the ever-changing representation of beauty. Love it.

Until 4th June at Foto Colectania, C/Julián Romea 6, D2, Barcelona.

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