Texas 1970's Black & White
During the decade of the 1970’s, Winningham established a recognizable style of black and white phography, working almost entirely in 35mm, often with flash. His subjects included professional wrestling, livestock shows and rodeos, and high school football, each of which were published as a book. The broader range of his subject matter in this period included parties, public festivities, thrill shows and destruction derbies.
In 1976, the photographer and critic Robert Adams wrote of Winningham’s work from this period:
We nourish our faith in myth by an observation of ritual. Winningham, who records our participation in some of these sustaining rites, has given us pictures that are remarkable equally for their clarity and kindness; they demonstrate the truth of Jacque Maritain's suggestion that "art is a virtue like friendship." The events upon which Winningham concentrates are usually dismissed as popular entertainment. And yet, of course, rodeos celebrate a bashful, stringy individualism that we like to think of as American, wrestling matches give us a chance to safely heckle evil, and senior proms hold out the chance of escaping forever, suited in style, our ungainly adolescence.
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