At 25 years old, Dan Winters moved from his home state of California to New York. During these personally and artistically formative years, Winters took in the city which has inspired and captivated so many artists who came before him. The photographs that comprise The Grey Ghost include the timeless icons of the city that we all know well, including the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. However even at a young age, Winters’ signature approach is palpable, and the images that emerge are technical, delicate, and surprising despite our familiarity with these landmarks.
Among the icons of the city, Winters captures the fleeting, beautiful, and strange happenings one experiences on the streets of New York. The serendipitous moments that only become visible to those comfortable with a city, when the bustle and noise begin to fade and one can truly begin to see what makes the city so remarkable. The Grey Ghost becomes an ode to the city-as-muse, one that eternally captivates and inspires.
Winters notes in his introduction to The Grey Ghost, “It is a city unlike any I have known. One in which sidewalks are a great equalizer and both kings and peasants share the pavement in a choreographed, democratic ballet…The myriad smells, hot flashes, chaos, and drone of car horns overcame me. This grand symphony occurs with such frequency and persistence, it eventually becomes a shrill and continuous presence... As time passed I became a fragment of the organism, as vital a piece that any one person can occupy. The metamorphosis was underway and my deep love for one of the world's most spirited and influential of places began to blossom.”
Dan Winters is an award-winning photographer based in Austin, Texas and Los Angeles. He is a regular contributor for WIRED, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, TIME, and many other national and international publications. Winters’s photographs are included in the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, and the Wittliff Collection at Texas State University in San Marcos. His previous books include, Road to Seeing (2014), Last Launch: Discovery, Endeavor, Atlantis (2012), Dan Winters’s America: Icons and Ingenuity (2012), and Periodical Photographs (2009).