Thursday, 3 September 2009

William Eggleston


William eggleston is considered to be a "pioneer of contemporary colour photography" often capturing seemingly mundane , everyday images however it is the composition and bold colours that make the ordinary look extraordinary.

I recently watched a documentary on his work - which was described as "a photographic dream, always in colour, one picture after another". Eggleston would take his camera everywhere - even to funerals, he would often wander into derelict and run down areas concentrating on the neglected parts of a building or an object , making them the central focus of the photograph.


He would sometimes include people in his photos, he would capture a haunting moment when, for example, a person mirrors another perfectly or is looking directly at the camera giving the appearance of a staged photograph, though they rarely were.


This photograph is a dye-transfer print from his 'Los Alamos portfolio' (1965-74). I really liked the image aesthetically but wanted to find out more about it - where was it taken? whos car is it and why is it chained up?

The picture was taken in mexico but i couldnt find a definite explanation as to what is going on, only theories. One man had written into a blog saying "The devil is in the detail in this picture - the ciggarette butts and empty cans tell the real story. In Mexico it is never a bad plan to use the chain and pay a local to watch your car for a few hours, needless to say sitting on that curb can build up quite a thirst and a craving for camel."

Eggleston doesnt have an agenda behind his photos he is simply documenting everyday life, but leaving it up to the viewer to work out what might have happened or be about to happen.

I think his photographs are an acurate and honest documentation of what he seen around him but they also have an adventitious quality to them, like he has managed to capture all of them by chance, as though he had always happened to be in the right place at the right time.

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