Central Park Zoo, New York City by Garry Winogrand (1964)

This photograph, entitled “Central Park Zoo, New York City,” was captured by Garry Winogrand in 1964. It illustrates an intriguing scene where humans and chimpanzees are in close proximity, suggesting a complex social interaction. The black and white image captures a woman and a man walking side by side, both appearing to be dressed in winter clothing suitable for the time of year. The woman is to the left, wearing a fashionable headscarf and a coat, and is carrying a small chimpanzee in her arms, which is bundled up in a jacket resembling human clothing. To her right is a man, dressed in a suit and tie, who also holds a chimpanzee in a similar manner. Their facial expressions are serious and somewhat inscrutable, adding a layer of depth to the moment frozen in time. The background of the image shows other people who seem to be passersby, observing or walking past the scene, with trees and buildings providing context that it is indeed an urban park setting.

The interaction between humans and animals, particularly chimpanzees dressed as humans and being carried like children, makes this a powerful image that can invoke various interpretations about the relationship between humans and animals, social norms, and the roles that animals played in human society during the 1960s. The expressions of the people and the physical closeness of the different species make the photograph quite striking and contemplative.

Other Photographs from Garry Winogrand

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