Filtering by Category: William Eggleston

The Hyperrealism of William Eggleston

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When you thumb up a color-saturating Instagram filter for your shot of Mt. Hood over an airplane wing or your pastel-hued brunch cocktail, you have William Eggleston to thank. 

Those Instagram filters—to say nothing of the art world at large—might look a lot less colorful had he not experimented with color photography, an unpopular approach in a 1960s art world that still preferred tasteful black-and-white.

Eggleston's work is the opposite: His saturated dye-transfer prints lend a sense of hyperrealism to everyday subjects like gas stations, neon signage, the teal and salmon interiors of diners—even something as seemingly un-evocative as a bare bulb anchoring a ceiling (it's blood red, so pretty evocative as ceilings go).

This Saturday, March 26, 65 of Eggleston's photographs will be on view at the Portland Art Museum, but in keeping with his experimentation, 23 of them are black-and-white images reprinted from his early archives. Ahead of PAM's show, here's what the museum's curator of photography, Julia Dolan, told me about Eggleston's influence on later artists like Cindy Sherman, the art world's problem with color photography, and the distorting lens of our nostalgia for the '50s and '60s.

On Eggleston's early subject matter: "Like many good photographers, he photographs what he knows, and that's often his life in and around Tennessee and Mississippi, and other areas of the American South.... I think what's so wonderful is to see this beginning, this budding, of looking out onto the world at subjects that fine-art photographers at that time would [consider] banal, completely boring, not subject matter at all: empty tables at a café, people walking down the street, automobiles, detritus on the side of a street—these are all things that were not the subjects of fine-art photography for the most part at the time. And I think now for us looking back on it, it's almost a little bit difficult to get a pure idea of it because we have a strong sense of nostalgia for this time period—for the '50s, '60s, even the '70s—and so we see things that feel very Mad Men or of a different time in the United States that we are attracted to."

On Eggleston's black-and-white photography: "If we know about William Eggleston's work, we know about that saturated red ceiling... we're so used to these colors and this vibrancy. To then be able to juxtapose the black-and-white work—which in some ways makes us think a little bit more about composition because that layer of color has been removed—we start to see these patterns of composition in his work, and the way that he evolved before hitting the scene and punching us in the face with these dye-transfer prints that he has manipulated so that certain colors are richer than others. It's a really wonderful experience to see both at the same time."

On Eggleston's pioneering of color photography: "At the time that Eggleston switched to color and started experimenting with it, which was the early 1960s, very few other arts-oriented photographers were... One of the reasons for that was that [fine-art photography] almost always had to be black-and-white, because color photography was linked to advertising and it was considered less artistic, it was considered garish or very base, and for many people who held authority in terms of photography, it was not art."

On the reception of Eggleston's first MoMA show: "Critics went crazy. Critics in the New York Times and other places said the work was boring, the colors were garish, and they couldn't believe it. Some people said it was the worst show of the year."

On Eggleston's impact on younger artists: "[Eggleston's color photography] really encourages people like Nan Goldin, Laurie Simmons, Cindy Sherman even, because Cindy's in school and making black-and-white photographs in the 1970s, and by the early 1980s she's pushing into color... He opens up this world for them in a really magnificent way, and little by little, people start to accept color photography as artistic and worth being seen in galleries and museums."

Source:  The Portland Mercury 

Bill Ferris Praises Mississippi and Southern Storytelling, mentions Eggleston and Imes

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Scholar-in-residence William R "Bill" Ferris shares, “Anywhere you go in Mississippi, at any moment, people are telling stories. All you have to do is listen,”.  Storying telling is a driving force of longevity of southern folklore that permeates music, literature, and visual art.  Ferris shares his appreciation for stories and those who share them.  Notably, two photographers are mentioned as exceptional examples: Birney Imes and William Eggleston.

“No photographer approaches what Eggleston does,” Ferris added. “He sees his photographs as a kind of narrative story in which you flip through the images as you would read a novel and at the end of many images, you have an impression as though you’ve read a book.”

Ferris claims Mississippi has produced some of the greatest American photographers to date.

Read the entire article on Ferris' affinity towards Mississippi and The American South on wcbi.com

Source: http://www.wcbi.com/local-news/scholar-in-...

Exhibition, Unseen William Eggleston Photographs of Joe Strummer and Dennis Hopper at National Portrait Gallery

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William Eggleston, pioneer in color photography, is unveiling never before seen portraits of rockstar Joe Strummer of The Clash and Hollywood actor Dennis Hopper at the National Portrait Gallery in London.  This is the first and most comprehensive exhibition solely dedicated to Eggleston's portraiture work.  

Left: Joe Strummer, Above: Dennis Hopper by William Eggleston © Eggleston Artistic Trust

Left: Joe Strummer, Above: Dennis Hopper
by William Eggleston © Eggleston Artistic Trust

Director of NPG Nicolas Cullinan shares, "Eggleston has an uncanny ability to find something extraordinary in the seemingly everyday. Combining well-known works with others previously unseen, this exhibition looks at one of photography’s most compelling practitioners from a new perspective.”

The exhibition will display more than 100 works spanning over several decades.  The photographs include people in diners, markets, self-portraits from photobooths, and other vignettes into Eggleston's everyday encounters.

The exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery will be from 21 July until 23 October, 2016.

Read more on irishexaminer.com

Visit npg.org.uk for details.

Source: http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/eggleston/ex...

Exhibitions, "The Open Road: Photography and the American Roadtrip" at the Crystal Bridges Museum

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The Open Road published by Aperture (Sept. 2014) is a compilation publication of America's most well-traveled photographers.  Featuring 19 photographers and over 100 images, the book celebrates the exhilaration of traveling the American landscape from the 1950's through present day.  Accompanying the book is a large-scale exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas.  As a destination point along a sight-seer's roadtrip, the museum has in mind their central geographical location in the States and has even curated a playlist on Spotify of "highway-tested tunes" for their visitor's travels.

Photographers include: Robert Frank, Ed Ruscha, Garry Winogrand, Inge Morath, William Eggleston, Lee Friedlander, Joel Meyerowitz, Jacob Holdt, Stephen Shore, Bernard Plossu, Victor Burgin, Joel Sternfeld, Alec Soth, Todd Hido, Shinya Fujiwara, Ryan McGinley, Justine Kurland, and Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs.

Watch a video produced by Aperture on the subject of the book with the editor, author and featured artists below:

Watch above: Editor Denise Wolff, author David Campany, and featured photographers Joel Meyerowitz, Justine Kurland, and Todd Hido discuss the book, and their own relationship to the the road. 

“Joyrides, voyages of discovery, surveys, wanderings, migrations, polemics, travel diaries, and assessments of the nation. Is America even imaginable without the road trip?”
David Campany

The exhibition will be viewable from 27 February - 30 May 2016.
 

Purchase The Open Road:Photography and the American Road Trip on Aperture.org 

Read more about the exhibition on crystalbridges.org

Source: http://crystalbridges.org/exhibitions/the-...

Eggleston's "The Democratic Forest" Featured in AnOther Magazine

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Daisy Woodward discusses the legacy of William Eggleston's mid-1980s work and his new 10-volume edition of The Democratic Forest, published by Steidl.

"I was treating things democratically, which of course didn't mean a thing to the people I was talking to. I already had different, massive series. I had been to Berlin and to Pittsburgh and completed huge bodies of work. From that moment everything from the boxes of thousands of prints made cohesive sense for the first time."

From the AnOther Magazine online posting from 3 December 2015.

For more about William Eggleston visit his artist page.

Does William Eggleston Love Women? “You’re Damn Right!”

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The father of color photography on life, love, growing up Southern, and standing up to Cartier-Bresson.

BY JOHN HEILPERN

William Eggleston, the near-mythic southern gentleman and father of color photography, who is placed in the pantheon of the greats alongside Walker Evans and Robert Frank, greeted me with a courtly little bow at his favorite hangout in New York City, El Quijote restaurant, the joint adjoining the Chelsea Hotel.

It would be a liquid lunch for the 76-year-old Mr. Eggleston, who pointed out, in his wry, gracious way, that if he had felt like lunch he would have surely had one of El Quijote’s small, signature lobsters. He began with champagne mixed with vodka, in a tall glass.

“You look well,” I said.

“Thank you,” he said in his light southern accent. “A compliment is always nice.”

He still lives in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was raised a son of privilege on a 12,000-acre plantation. “Ever used a gun?” I asked. “Certainly,” he replied, “but not seriously.”
 

For comlpete text please visit VanityFair 

The Guardian Features William Eggleston in Article on Album Art

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by Sean O'Hagan

Man Ray nearly did a Rolling Stones cover, Big Star went for William Eggleston’s most famous ceiling shot, and George Michael lifted a Weegee photograph. A curious new exhibition for nerds and fans alike shows the hits and misses of album artwork – and the covers too rude to use

The greatest record cover that never was? ... Man Ray’s original Rolling Stones cover for Exile on Main Street. All photographs courtesy Les Rencontres d’Arles

The greatest record cover that never was? ... Man Ray’s original Rolling Stones cover for Exile on Main Street. All photographs courtesy Les Rencontres d’Arles

In 1972 Charlie Watts, drummer of the Rolling Stones, met with Man Ray and asked if he would design the cover for the group’s new album, Exile on Main Street. The 82-year-old artist agreed and produced a design in which the faces of the five Rolling Stones appeared inside black circles on a white background. The inspiration, he said, was the song Tumbling Dice, the first single from the album.

Man Ray’s design is one of the great record covers that never happened. The album appeared instead with a sleeve by the great American photographer Robert Frank, whose black-and-white collage of Super 8 images (shot in a tattoo parlour somewhere on Route 66 while he made his groundbreaking book The Americans) is now considered one of the classic rock album sleeves.

Radio City by Big Star, which uses William Eggleston’s classic red ceiling shot

Radio City by Big Star, which uses William Eggleston’s classic red ceiling shot

Man Ray’s proposed cover for the Stones is one of the highlights of a sprawling, but always intriguing, exhibition at Les Rencontres d’Arles called Total Records: The Great Adventure of Album Cover Photography.

It traces pop’s relationship with photography using album sleeves that span the history of vinyl recordings, and includes work by pioneering photographers who were either commissioned by labels to shape the identity of an artist or else allowed existing images to be used, often at the musician’s request. That was how Anders Petersen’s picture of an embracing couple from his gritty series Cafe Lehmitz ended up on the cover of Rain Dogs by Tom Waits, an almost perfect reflection of the melancholic music therein. (Intriguingly, the man in the photograph bears a resemblance to the young Tom Waits, both physically and in terms of the beatnik-barfly image Waits once projected.)

That Beautiful South album also features in a short series on censored covers – the woman with a gun in her mouth was replaced in some countries by teddy bears. Stranger still is the cover for a Mamas and Papas album in which they lounge, fully clothed, in a bath tub. In the censored version, an offending toilet bowl has been removed. One wonders how the Butthole Surfers ever got a record released.

One of the more intriguing mini-narratives is a wall devoted to photographs by Linda McCartney of the shoot for the Beatles’ final album, Abbey Road. Iain Macmillan’s cover shot – which was achieved in a 10-minute shoot from atop a ladder while policemen stopped traffic – has since become one of the most debated record sleeves of all time. A conspiracy theory had it that Paul McCartney was dead because he appeared barefoot. Here, he is pictured in one shot wearing sandals and, in another, chatting to an old lady on the pavement by the famous zebra crossing.

Source: The Guardian

Amateur Photographer highlights ROSEGALLERY showcasing prints to collectors Michael G. Wilson and actor Daniel Craig

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The first Photo London has been hailed a huge success, with famous visitors including James Bond actor Daniel Craig, as organizers confirm the dates for next year’s event.

Daniel-Craig.wilson.web_.jpg

James Bond actor Daniel Craig attends Photo London with Michael J Wilson, co-producer of the 007 movies. Both are known to be photography collectors

More than 20,000 people attended the Somerset House event over four days, in what has been hailed the largest photography fair ever staged in the capital.

Showcasing more than 2,000 images, Photo London featured 70 international galleries, and talks by more than 50 photographers and curators.

Among the dealers was Peter Fetterman, of the Peter Fetterman Gallery in Santa Monica, USA, who sold a Sebastião Salgado print of an iceberg for $50,000.

Fetterman told organizers: ‘We travelled 6,000 miles to come here and arriving at Photo London has felt like coming home.

‘Our gallery shows at eight fairs a year and none as well organized as this. We can’t wait for next year, already.’

Photo London has confirmed that next year’s show will be held, again at Somerset House, from 19-22 May.

Read more at AmateurPhotographer