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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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The Oxford Eagle features William Eggleston in 'University Museum is a Treasure'

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By The Oxford Eagle Editorial Board


The University of Mississippi Museum has emerged over the past decade as a cornerstone of the growing, thriving, enlightened Oxford and Ole Miss community.

Nothing illustrates this better than the ongoing exhibit “The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston,” featuring 36 color and black-and-white photographs from the renowned photographer.

Sponsored by Friends of the Museum, active supporters who have helped the University Museum increase its reach and presence in recent years, the Eggleston exhibit is one of the region’s more notable to come along in years.

Opening in September and running through January 14, the Eggleston exhibition features photographs from the museum’s permanent collection and others never before exhibited.

For comlpete text please visit OxfordEagle

Photographer William Eggleston pioneered use of colour at MOMA

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William Eggleston’s Greenwood, Mississippi (1973). Collection National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

William Eggleston’s Greenwood, Mississippi (1973). Collection National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

In May 1976, a photography exhibition opened at New York’s Museum of Modern Art that The New York Times described as the “most hated show of the year” and The Village Voice as “some sort of con”.

The principal reason for all the vitriol? The photographer, William Eggleston, had the audacity to print his images in colour.

Looking back, it may seem ludicrous there was such contempt for colour photography. However, at the time black-and-white was the prevailing aesthetic and colour photography was the realm of advertising. Furthermore, influential photographer Walker Evans had described colour as “vulgar”.

Despite the negative response, that MoMA exhibition is considered the moment when colour photography became an art form. With just one exhibition, Eggleston managed to show how the use of saturated colour could transcend its commercial origins. He suddenly made colour legitimate and he is often described as the greatest colourist in photographic history.

But colour wasn’t the critics’ only gripe. Eggleston was also lampooned for his choice of ordinary, nondescript subjects, such as a child’s tricycle, a man on a phone and a woman in curlers. He once famously remarked that “I’ve been photographing democratically” to sum up his approach. He also documented his personal life: his wife and children, but also the drug and alcohol-fuelled parties with musicians and artists, and his long-term lovers, such as Viva, one of Andy Warhol’s “superstars”. He is also renowned for taking only one photo of any subject, never a second shot.

For entire read please visit TheAustralian.

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

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. 

William Eggleston: the stories that inspired David Lynch's favourite photographer

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 Untitled, c.1975 (Marcia Hare in Memphis Tennessee) by William Eggleston CREDIT: EGGLESTON ARTISTIC TRUST

 Untitled, c.1975 (Marcia Hare in Memphis Tennessee) by William Eggleston CREDIT: EGGLESTON ARTISTIC TRUST

By Lucy Davies

By his own count, William Eggleston has taken somewhere between one and two million photographs, though only ever one of each scene. “I have a personal rule: never more than one picture,” he says, “and I have never wished I had taken a picture differently. It simply happens that I was right to begin with.”

Eggleston, now 76, speaks with the courtly lilt of a man born and raised in the tattered decadence of a 12,000-acre plantation in Memphis, Tennessee. Since he began taking pictures in the Sixties, photography has been his sole occupation, which explains the size of his oeuvre, but not its quality, which has enraptured viewers in the intervening years.

For full article please visit The Telegraph


A Road Less Traveled: How William Eggleston Transformed Photography in America

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JUL 22ND, 2016 10:35 AM

William Eggleston Untitled, 1965/2012 Gagosian Gallery

William Eggleston
Untitled, 1965/2012
Gagosian Gallery

William Eggleston Morton, Mississippi , 1969-1970  ROSEGALLERY

William Eggleston
Morton, Mississippi , 1969-1970

William Eggleston has no trouble pinpointing the first of his color photographs that he considers a success. It was 1965, late afternoon, and the American photographer was standing outside a supermarket in Memphis, Tennessee. The warm sunlight had just caught the blonde hair and absentminded expression of a teenaged employee, who was dutifully organizing shopping carts. Eggleston aimed his camera and moved in close. Click. The resulting image embodies, in many ways, his eventual photographic practice—inconsequential moments in the American South, captured in such a manner that the colors practically glow.

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Art Rant: Photo London

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West coast flower power: Rose Shoshana; The Mother of photography dealers, always enthusiastic and generous with her time was stuck in a badly lit overly warm corner. Her booth shows magnificent and rare Evelyn Hofer and William Eggleston dye transfer prints going for approximately the same price ($40k or less) as the uninventive pretentious void of a Jean-Baptiste Huynh print. Hello! Dye transfer prints are pure magic! This rare and complicated technique is the most vibrant expression at the heart of the historical renaissance of American color photography. Why have they not sold out?

Source: artwise