BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Chuck Freeman
 

William Eggleston


 
 
What is your opinion of the Famous photographer WILLIAM EGGLESTON, know for his simple yet complicated shots with a Leica camera and mostly Kodacolor film. It has made him very wealthy and famous... Look him up on Internet if you do not know him.
y attached ONE TOKE OVER is a poor imitation of Mr. Eggleston...


To love this question, log in above
7/26/2004 2:56:58 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  Eggleston is most noted for his portrayal of banal subject material in the south; mostly Tennessee (mostly Memphis) and areas of Mississippi. He raised banality to an art form. While the bulk of this work may look a celebration of mediocrity with principle subject dead centered and near zero exploitation of colors (especially washed out cyan skies), they are deceptively well executed in subtle details . . . and are an exceedingly poignant and accurate portrayal of the way things really are . . . and for me that is what makes them interesting . . . that we do *not* live in an idealistically, visually perfect world . . . that most of our existence and experience in viewing the world around us is what he portrays.

Some of this work celebrates the "entropy" around us . . . the principle that things drift steadily toward chaos and disorder without concerted effort to keep them ordered . . . and even then it can be done only in a limited region for a limited time . . . at the expense of creating chaos and disorder elsewhere. It is this "elsewhere" his chose to show in a manner that it is inescapable . . . he doesn't let us run from it.

I suppose one must look at his work very carefully before dismissing it as naught but "snapshots" paraded as art. IMVHO it should be appreciated as a collection of works for rubbing our faces in the realities of everyday life and not the fantasies we would like to believe they are. As indifidual works, look carefully. While the compositions are jarring to the eye in the primary compositional technique, the secondary and tertiary compositional aspects are executed with great care to keep them from distracting the viewer from the glaring _primary_ one.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/27/2004 11:13:51 PM

 
John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/27/2001
  BTW,
If you haven't seen "The Americans" by Robert Frank . . . a project done in the mid-1950's by Frank under Guggenheim Fellowship (published in 1958) . . . get a copy at a library and look through it. While they are B/W and the bulk employ more traditional compositional techniques, he also portrayed life in the U.S. as it truly existed and not in the idealistic manner that most of his contemporaries in the U.S. at the time were doing . . . warts and all . . . and for that he was initially derided for exposing the not quite so beautiful things around us. It wasn't until later that his body of work for that project was finally appreciated for what it documented about Americans and their lives in that era. Something very, very few others portrayed . . . and very starkly real.

-- John Lind


To love this comment, log in above
7/27/2004 11:25:14 PM

 
Log in to respond or ask your own question.