Winner of the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival Photography/Art Book Award, this lavishly illustrated volume surveys the entire oeuvre of internationally award-winning photographer Dan Winters, including iconic celebrity portraits, scientific photography, photojournalism, and lyrical personal expressions.
Winner of the 2012 Los Angeles Book Festival Photography/Art Book Award, Dan Winters’ America: Icons and Ingenuity is the first retrospective of the career of this talented artist. Winters has spent more than two decades creating memorable photographs for such publications as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, GQ, and Rolling Stone. Best known for his iconic celebrity portraits, Winters has photographed public figures ranging from the Dalai Lama to President Barack Obama, Hollywood celebrities from Leonardo DiCaprio to Helen Mirren, and artistic luminaries from Jeff Koons to William Christenberry. His style of portraiture is instantly recognizable, characterized by impeccable lighting, muted backgrounds, and the contemplative postures of his sitters.
Winters’ lifelong fascination with science, technology, and human ingenuity finds similar expression in significant groups of photographs: close-up studies of honeybees and airplanes and a magnificent series devoted to the last three launches of NASA’s space shuttles. These photographs reveal an aspect of Winters’ career that is less familiar than his commercial work but equally compelling.
In addition to the popular icons, America includes expressions of Winters’ personal vision. This lyrical body of work shows the same keen eye for lighting and composition, but with a decidedly more intimate ambiance: photographs of his wife and son, spare cityscapes, and elegant collages.
America: Icons and Ingenuity also includes a biographical essay that traces his development in a varied and productive career that is, itself, a work in progress.
“I have been asked to describe this photographer with 1,000 words. Given the profound affection I feel towards him and his work, it will be a challenge to wrap it up so briefly. Humor, beauty, erudition, skill, generosity, fun. There’s six . . . Dan’s portraits of human beings, from anonymous citizens to luminaries, are deceptively simple renderings of personality and nuance. They are pregnant with pathos. I’ve never seen photos of celebrities that made them seem like such, well, human beings. He suggests that the viewer really think about the person depicted, in a different way than we’ve been taught by modern fashion. His haunting plates of honeybees are shot with the efficient scrutiny of the entomologist combined with a surrealist’s élan. The works on paper are laced with specific meaning and emotional truth, in turn beautiful, humorous, and chilling. He takes on sumi-e black ink painting and writes an entire poem with three strokes of his brush. The longer I’ve known Dan Winters, the more I am astonished at the breadth of his ability to convey relevant and powerful emotions with his images.”
Nick Offerman, TIME LightBox