WILLIAM EGGLSTON – PIONEER OF AMERICAN COLOR PHOTOS
The work of William Eggleston makes an ambiguous impression: someone admires them, someone does not understand them. But be that as it may, his name is inscribed in gold letters in the history of American art photography.
William Eggleston was born in 1939 in Tennessee, USA. Like many of his other famous colleagues, William did not receive a professional education in the field of photography – he turned out to be a talented self-taught person.
William Eggleston began to take an active interest in photography in the 60s, and his debut exhibition was held in 1976. The first pancake turned out to be lumpy – many critics were skeptical of the newcomer, who shot in color. In an era of unquestioning dominance of black and white photos, this approach seemed frivolous and even amateurish. However, with his work, William Eggleston was able to prove that color photography has the right to exist, it can be no less meaningful than monochrome. He shows that bright shades deserve to be captured on film in all its glory. Thanks to this, the photographer earned the honorary title of one of the pioneers of color photography.
William Eggleston has an amazing ability to create an amazing composition from the most mundane objects. Those who happened to see the master at work noted that Eggleston is very serious, even fanatical about the layout of the subjects. Choosing the right angle sometimes took a lot of time from the photographer, but every time he was rewarded with an impressive shooting result.
At the dawn of his career, William Eggleston was unhappy with the lack of suitable subjects for shooting in his surroundings. Once he complained to a friend that he did not know what to shoot, since all the things around were ugly. “So take pictures of ugly things,” a friend advised William. That is exactly what Eggleston decided to do, improving his skills and non-trivial vision of the world around him over the years.
William Eggleston notes that we do not even notice many familiar objects in the daily rush. His task as a photographer is to discover the beauty and deep essence of the simplest things. The correct composition, play of colors and a good angle open up the world around us in a completely different light – meaningful and sometimes even mysterious.
Everyday life of America
The simple life of Americans. This is what the overwhelming majority of William Eggleton’s photographs are dedicated to. He did not chase sensational photos, did not shoot high-profile events – and, nevertheless, his pictures capture, attract the viewer’s attention for a long time.
William Eggleston could be called “the chronicler of everyday life of an ordinary American.” The photographer’s work reveals American reality from unexpected sides, causing a wide variety of sensations: from internal conflict and tension to calm and relaxation.
Eggleston spent most of his life in his native Memphis, which is why the lion’s share of the master’s photographs is also devoted to the American South, its unique atmosphere and mores.
William Eggleston shows the so-called little America – one-story houses, ordinary food in the refrigerator, walks along the streets of the suburbs. The lack of pathos makes William Eggleston’s photographic works so lively, full of deep meaning, sincere in their simplicity.
Eggleston continues to take pictures today as always. A recent documentary entitled “William Eggleston in the Real World” conveys a viewer introduces a unique personality, conveys his view of work and life. The documentary was released in 2005. The director, scriptwriter and performer of one of the main roles in the film was Michael Almereida.
A longtime admirer of Eggleston’s work, Almereida in his movie tried to show the roots of the genius of the photo artist, as well as the imprint the work leaves on the personal life of William himself.