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William Eggleston's The Democratic Forest: The Godfather of Color Photography is a Poet

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William Eggleston, portrait by Adam Lehrer

William Eggleston, portrait by Adam Lehrer

William Eggleston: The Democratic Forest

By:Adam Lehrer

William Eggleston’s photographs didn’t immediately have an impact on me. When I started taking pictures regularly, making artwork and studying photography, I initially found myself captivated by fine art photographers like Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Richard Kern, Nick Knight’s Skinhead book, and later Ryan McGinley, Wolfgang Tillmans and Dash Snow. These photographers offered me a visual portal into worlds that I was either curious about or desperately wanted to be a part of. Images of glamorous downtown artists, drug abuse, delinquent behavior and moments of anguish accented by expressions of ecstatic joy. These photographers’ work gave me a glimpse of a life that I wanted to live, and also provided me hope that with a camera (and a laptop) I could find my entry into their worlds, or at least my own version of their worlds. Eggleston’s work, on the other hand, isn’t as immediately provocative. His focus has always been on iconography of the mundane: street signs, middle American shops, and ceiling fans have always been his language. 

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AnOtherMag Presents: Inside the Mind of Seminal Photographer William Eggleston

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William Eggleston , 2016, Photography by Chris Rhodes

William Eggleston, 2016, Photography by Chris Rhodes

The godfather of colour photography answers Jefferson Hack's take on the Proust Questionnaire. His interview is accompanied by an original portrait shot by Eggleston devotee, Chris Rhodes.

Three weeks ago, William Eggleston made a rare appearance at David Zwirner Gallery in Mayfair, London to host a book signing of the accompanying tome to his magnificent new exhibition William Eggleston: Portraits, currently on display at the National Portrait Gallery. As one might expect, the 77-year-old, Tennessee-born photographer – whose revolutionary, five-decade strong opus has inspired generations of artists including David Lynch, Nan Goldin and Jeff Wall – drew an impressively large and diverse crowd, itself indicative of his superlative influence. One such attendee was British photographer and AnOther Magazine contributor Chris Rhodes, who seized the opportunity to take Eggleston's portrait [seen above] to mark the occasion. "To me, he's the greatest living photographer. I admire his visionary use of colour, turning colour photography into an art form – the simple yet profound way of photographing the mundane while ultimately creating visual poetry," mused Rhodes, adding...

Please visit AnOther Mag for comlpte read and questionnaire with Jefferson Hack