Wynn Bullock (1902 – 1975) was born in Chicago and raised in South Pasadena, California. His early career was as a singer, and following high school he moved to New York where he performed in the chorus of Irving Berlin’s Music Box Revue and later with the show’s Road Company. During the mid-1920s, while performing in Europe, he became fascinated with artworks by Cezanne, Man Ray, and Lazlo Moholy-Nagy. Bullock once wrote, “My first ambition was to become a concert singer, but interpreting others’ creative work did not satisfy my own creative impulses and so I turned to photography.” Bullock bought a simple box camera and launched into amateur picture making.
In 1938 Bullock enrolled at the Los Angeles Art Center School. Three years later, his work was showcased in one of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s early solo photography exhibitions. During the 1940s, he conducted pioneering research to control the effect of solarization (a darkroom process for altering an image) and was awarded patents in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain for a “Photographic Process for Producing Line Image.”
Bullock was deeply inspired by fellow photographer Edward Weston, who he met in 1948, and Weston’s work motivated him to investigate straight photography. Throughout the 1950s, Bullock clarified his unique point of view, establishing a deep, direct connection with nature.