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August 03, 2004

Excellent Reading on Eggleston, and Revisiting an Eggleston Protege

I never wanted to maintain a blog in which I was just posting links...not that there isn't value in doing that, and in fact I suspect most people pass on my verbiage and just click away to the good stuff. But my long-windedness in talking to myself the last six months has helped me clarify my thoughts about certain photographers and genres, and art and creativity generally, even if most visitors here would rather I find a more direct way of saying "check this out!"

All of which is my longwinded way of saying...I'm pretty much posting links today and the rest of the week. I've had such a busy summer that I'm in danger of not posting at all for the next two months if I don't zip my lip a bit.

So here you go:

* William Eggleston has been a big favorite of mine for a while, for his wonderfully idiosyncratic and groundbreaking work in color. I always felt there was more to the man than some technical descriptions about his dye transfer methods and his use of Leicas and Hasselblads, and finally there's a superb extended profile in the Guardian that talks about the wild man behind the wild work.


"Girl in Grass" William Eggleston image

The Guardian is partial to Eggleston, and his influence not just on other photographers, but on filmmakers as well...here's another fine article that talks about this influence, written around the time of the UK opening of Gus Van Sant's film Elephant.

* Prior to these Guardian pieces, the standard references online for perspective on Eggleston were in Salon and Slate -- articles here and here.

* The three definitive collections of Eggleston's work are William Eggleston's Guide, 2 1/4, and the recently released Los Alamos, with the latter having the best reproductions of his images. It seems to be difficult getting proper and consistent color in reproductions of Eggleston's images (and when I say "proper", I'm introducing my own biases here, in terms of being partial to a certain saturation of color in Eggleston's best work, which isn't always reproduced consistently, even in prints being exhibited by galleries). Web images are a particularly pedestrian way of viewing his work (and should NOT be anyone's introduction to him). Nevertheless, a few links with some better than average reproductions of classic work:

1) An overview of images (rather small in size) from the fabulous 2 1/4, courtesy of Photo-Eye, and a better selection of images from the even more fabulous Los Alamos.

2) A good overview of Eggleston's work at the Getty Museum -- these 42 photographs (including early black and white images) are probably the best online introduction to his work.

3) An erratic selection of images at Artnet -- larger sized images, which are nice, with some lesser known gems in the mix, and a generous quantity (35), but a few of the scans are hideous.

4) Images from a 1998 Exhibition at Westfälischer Kunstverein, Morals of Vision, with few decent sized images and a useful introductory essay.

5) A set of 13 square format images presented quite decently -- mainly for the preservation of Eggleston's sensibility, rather than any particularly outstanding online presentation.

6) Another respectable presentation of images from an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in London.


"Webb", William Eggleston image

* I just received an update from Eggleston protege Christian Patterson, one of several distinctive photographers chosen as part of the PDN 30 for 2004 that I discussed in a recent post. Christian has revamped his web site and has lots of new material worth looking at....I really liked the portfolios "Kind of a Drag", "Random Rules", and "Another Time, Another Place, and You"..

For the Flash-challenged, Christian has a link on this site to a well put together magazine profile with a good selection of his work.


Christian Patterson image, from "Another Time, Another Place, and You"

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awesome. thanks so much for gathering these links. eggleston has been my favorite photographer for some time now. i read that recent guardian article, which includes some great antectdotes and one of my favorite quotes on the nature of photography as art:

"A picture is what it is and I've never noticed that it helps to talk about them, or answer specific questions about them, much less volunteer information in words. It wouldn't make any sense to explain them. Kind of diminishes them. People always want to know when something was taken, where it was taken, and, God knows, why it was taken. It gets really ridiculous. I mean, they're right there, whatever they are.'

you have a unique and excellent site, by the way.

Posted by: ian at Aug 5, 2004 10:51:38 AM

great info, I am a big eggleston fan and recently picked up a copy of the guardian interview here in london, its only a shame I missed his show at the hayward a few years back, I was away during that time.

I shall spend a bit more time leafing through your links when I return from my vacation which begins this afternoon when I jet off to Crete.

the Christian Patterson site is also excellent both with content and design, thanks for sharing

Posted by: Jim Green at Aug 6, 2004 4:33:05 AM

Thank you for Eggleston info. My son knows his son and says he is estranged from his father.

Posted by: artist Suzanne at Jan 1, 2009 9:48:07 PM

I agree, people always want to know when something was taken, where it was taken, and, God knows, why it was taken.

Luigi Hanway

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The man who has made up his mind to win will never say "impossible".

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Posted by: Nike Air Max skyline at Jul 18, 2011 4:00:30 AM

I just received an update from Eggleston protege Christian Patterson, one of several distinctive photographers chosen as part of the PDN 30 for 2004 that I discussed in a recent post.

Posted by: Free Press Release Distribution at Aug 3, 2011 2:35:08 AM