1970s Street Photography Pictures of Majorettes (Photographer: Gary Krueger)

Gary Krueger (b. 1945) is a celebrated American photographer whose street photograpy includes majorettes in Los Angeles between 1971 and 1980. The vintage gelatin silver prints along with several others were part of a 2021 exhibit, City of Angels, 1971-1980, at the Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla, California. Krueger described the images as split-second juxtapositions in life.

According to the gallery’s press release, Krueger graduated high school in 1963, and studied graphic design and photography at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles from 1964 to 1967. In 1961, Walt and Roy Disney guided the merger of Chouinard and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music to establish the California Institute of the Arts. Notable alumni include Ed Ruscha, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Joe Goode, and Allen Ruppersberg, with whom Krueger collaborated on Ruppersberg’s narrative photo works. Upon graduation from Chouinard, Krueger was hired by WED Enterprises, Disney’s “Imagineering” Division to photograph the park and its events. He eventually left WED to pursue a successful career as a commercial and editorial photographer.

Flying Majorette, 1977

This picture of a young majorette was taken by Krueger in 1977. Dr Marcus Bunyan, an Australian artist and writer, describes the photo like this:

“…and a “majorette” captured mid-air: was she pushed, did she trip, will she fall or recover from this impossible angle, this suspended aerobatic display silently watched by the camera lens and two parked School Buses.”

Art Blart

Bicentennial “Spirit of 76” Twirler, 1976

This is our favorite image in the exhibit. Krueger placed two different subjects in this frame: the Bicentennial “Spirt of 76” twirler and the 76 gas station sign. The irony inspires a hard blink of the eye and in the end, Krueger’s image achieves juxtaposition.

James Maher is a popular New York street photographer. Here is an excerpt from his post, What is Street Photography?

Street photography at its essence means candid photography of humanity. A street photograph is a real moment. The genre is both about the photographer and their subject. Street Photographers filter the world to share what interests them and what they are feeling.

James Maher

Street Photography Pictures of Majorettes – Los Angeles, 1974

Which image is your favorite?

Reproduced with permission from the Joseph Bellows Gallery

Flying Majorette in Street Photography Picture Identified

The Flying Majorette in Krueger’s famous street photo is Johnnie Diaz Ornelas who was originally from Baldwin Park, California. Miss Johnnie attended baton twirling nationals at Notre Dame every year from the time she was five until she was 12. She is a former All-West Regional Champion and a former Junior Olympic Gold Medalist. In addition, the Flying Majorette by Krueger is widely circulated on the Internet. including in The Guardian and also in a popular art exhibit.

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