William Eggleston

William Eggleston is an American photographer born in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee. He started taking black and white pictures since he was young and in 1965 began to use color negative films. Although he met in New York Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander and Diane Arbus, because of his introvert and shy temper he was never part of the cultural entourage of the time and in fact he was nearly unknown when in 1976 his work was exhibited at MoMA. Eggleston’s was the first solo show of colour photography hosted at MoMA and of course this makes him a cornerstone in the history of photography. His photographs were printed with the dye-transfer process, a tecnique he discovered during the time he was teaching at Harvard, and were accompanied by a monograph, “William Eggleston’s Guide.”As stated by Mark Holborn, Eggleston’s works’ “subjects are, on the surface, the ordinary inhabitants and environs of suburban Memphis and Mississippi: friends, family, barbecues, back yards, a tricycle and the clutter of the mundane”, elements somehow meaningless but which play a role into the artist’s life, who knows the unsaid stories that cannot be shown through a single image and decides to express them using the emphasis of colour and light. His choice of colour photography shortens the distance between his work and the audience and is the democratic expression of how the mass sees the world.In 2004 he receives the Getty Images Lifetime Achievement Award at the ICP and in 2005 he is the subject of a documentary film directed by Michael Almereyda, “William Eggleston in the real World”.


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