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Gelatin silver print
Image: 33.9 x 22.9 cm (13 3/8 x 9 in.); Paper: 35.3 x 27.9 cm (13 7/8 x 11 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.)
Gift of Elizabeth and Frederick Myers 1984.195.7
After separating from his wife, Garry Winogrand began spending many hours with his children at the Central Park Zoo, an environment in which he recognized the potential for social commentary. Rather than adopting the traditional style of zoo photography—which generally avoided depicting the bars, cages, and containers in which the animals are housed—Winogrand focused on the physically divided realms of the urban human audience and the wildlife on display. In this image, zoo visitors are absorbed by a blubbery walrus; the walrus, however, appears to gaze directly into Winogrand’s camera. New York City stages a comedic dialogue between the walrus and the viewer, satirizing the strange relationship between these species.
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