Filtering by Tag: William Eggleston: Portraits

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...

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What makes William Eggleston's ordinary photographs so extraordinary?

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Though they’re presented as portraits, the images in this National Portrait Gallery show aren’t really portraiture. They’re much more ambiguous than that

Martin Gayford


‘Untitled’, c.1971, by William Eggleston

‘Untitled’, c.1971, by William Eggleston

In 1965 William Eggleston took the first colour photograph that, he felt, really succeeded. The location was outside a supermarket in Memphis, Tennessee; the time — to judge from the rich golden light and long shadows — late afternoon. Eggleston’s subject — a young man with a heavily slicked, early Elvis hairstyle stacking trolleys outside the shop — was as ordinary as he could be. But the result was a photographic masterpiece.

It is included in the exhibition William Eggleston: Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, although, by most definitions, it is not a portrait. Indeed, it is as hard to say just what it is as it is to explain exactly why it is so good.


The catalogue essay by the curator, Phillip Prodger, recounts how the photographer was once pressed to explain a shot of his infant son lying asleep in bed (pictured above). Is this a meditation on childhood, or a commemoration of this boy at a tender age? No, Eggleston insisted, sounding a bit vexed, ‘It’s something more ambiguous than that.’

Complete read at The Spectator. 

Memphis Made Man, William Eggleston, in detail by Andrew Dickson for The Guardian

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Andrew Dickson for The Guardian detailed the Memphis-made man and his iconographic photographs in anticipation for William Eggleston's upcoming solo exhibition William Eggleston: Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery.  The exhibition will be on view from 21 July until 23 October, 2016.

"William Eggleston is a pioneering American photographer renowned for his vivid, poetic and mysterious images. This exhibition of 100 works surveys Eggleston’s full career from the 1960s to the present day and is the most comprehensive display of his portrait photography ever."

Untitled , c1970, Devoe Money in Jackson, Mississippi. Photographs: © Eggleston Artistic Trust  

Untitled, c1970, Devoe Money in Jackson, Mississippi. Photographs: © Eggleston Artistic Trust
 

"Critics called his photographs a con when they were first shown 40 years ago, but Eggleston’s colour-saturated work has found lasting fame, defying interpretation

With impeccable timing, 40 years on, Eggleston returns with another major retrospective at another major museum, the National Portrait Gallery – a sign, perhaps, that Eggleston is now part of the establishment. Colour photography is mainstream; mobile phones and social media have made snapshots the most natural visual language of all. Once reviled, Eggleston himself is now revered, and correspondingly expensive – prints now sell for £350,000-plus.

Untitled , 1969–70, the artist’s uncle, Ayden Schuyler senior, with Jasper Staples, in Cassidy Bayou, Summer, Mississippi. Photograph: ©Eggleston Artistic Trust

Untitled, 1969–70, the artist’s uncle, Ayden Schuyler senior, with Jasper Staples, in Cassidy Bayou, Summer, Mississippi. Photograph: ©Eggleston Artistic Trust

Yet to encounter his photographs is still to revel in their strange wonder, their droll and sphinx-like resistance to interpretation. Critics falter when they try to place him: a reworker of the Duchampian readymade? A chronicler of southern gothic? Eggleston, forgivably wary of those who presume to pin down his work, prefers to let the pictures do the talking. And what they say remains peculiar enough."

Read the expansive write-up on The Guardian

William Eggleston: Portraits will be on view at The National Portrait Gallery from 21 July until 23 October, 2016.  Exhibition details npg.org.uk