Wednesday, August 31, 2016

William Eggleston - the essays


Much has been written about William Eggleston, his art, his practice and his life. For example there is John Szarkowski's 1976 introduction to William Eggleston's Guide, Eudora Welty's 1989 introduction to The Democratic Forest. Mark Holborn's 1992 introduction to Ancient and Modern. Thomas Weski's 1998 essay The Tender-Cruel Camera  from The Hasselblad Award.

Many of these writings, along with a host of other material can be found on the Eggleston Artistic Trust website. Below is part of a conversation Mark Holborn had with William Eggleston which appeared as an afterward in The Democratic Forest.

I was in Oxford, Mississippi for a few days and I was driving out to Holly Springs on a back road, stopping here and there. It was the time of year when the landscape wasn't yet green. I left the car and walked into the dead leaves off the road. It was one of those occasions when there was no picture there. It seemed like nothing, but of course there was something for someone out there. I started forcing myself to take pictures of the earth, where it had been eroded thirty or forty feet from the road. There were a few weeds. I began to realize that soon I was taking some pretty good pictures, so I went further into the woods and up a little hill, and got well into an entire roll of film. Later, when I was having dinner with some friends, writers from around Oxford, or maybe at the bar of the Holiday Inn, someone said, 'What have you been photographing here today, Eggleston?' 'Well, I've been photographing democratically,' I replied. 'But what have you been taking pictures of?' 'I've been outdoors, nowhere, in nothing.' 'What do you mean?' 'Well, just woods and dirt, a little asphalt here and there.'

You can go to the  Eggleston Artistic Trust website HERE. There is a lot to see and to read.

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