Eggleston revisited

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by martin_patek_strutsky, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. HERE is a great essay on Mr. Eggleston.
     
  2. It was an interview more then an essay.

    But!

    It also was an unintentional expose on the culture and what the culture values in an artist or personal values.

    Interesting read, thanks for sharing the article.
     
  3. Thx for the clarification. Strictly speaking I would call it an essay build around an interview.

    I have been a fan since a long time. This article is one of the rare sources talking about Eggleston as a person.
     
  4. And not a person that one would like to be like, I'd have to say.
    Either which way, it was an interesting read as it was insightful as to how confused people in the art world can be as to what genius is Vs what being out of touch with reality is. If someone wants to just trip the shutter as they spin around pointing the lense in no particular direction, shotgun style, that's not genius, that's just some bozo high on alcohol or ludes incapable of coherent thought:)
    It's like the other side of the Memphis looking glass, a world fuelled by drugs, alcohol and poetic furore. Bill told me they were all using Quaaludes at the time, even the dentists.
    The essay/interview also goes a long way to explain why contemporary images seem to be out of touch with reality; cause they are:)
    Again, I found the read very insightful and I mean that in the most sincerest form but a bit of moderation in one's life isn't necessarily a bad thing either.
    Today, perhaps because of his tendency to excess, Eggleston is accompanied everywhere by his son, Winston, a friendly but firm chaperone who looks after the archive and, one suspects, tries to keep his father's wilder side in check. Winston briefs the photographer and myself beforehand: the photo session must be brief, the interview should not broach the subject of specific photographs nor dwell on his private life. 'I've seen him get impatient with interviewers,' says Winston, 'and he's apt to up and leave if that occurs.'
    I hope most will see the interview/essay for what it is, a warning as to what happens to one's mind/brain when one does too much booze and drugs in their adult life:) The net result, one ends up needing a handler to handle them cause they can no longer handle reality:)
    Wishing all the best in their photographic efforts:)
     
  5. Personally I don't see this as a great substance-abuse tragedy. Eggleston lived how he
    wanted to and is now living an odd sort of life as a consequence, but he obviously didn't
    completely ruin his relationship with his son, or the son wouldn't be there to escort his
    father to collect a lifetime achievement award. Nor does he sound irretrievably impaired,
    to me.

    It's an interesting aside in a fascinating article about a tremendous individual (in more
    than one sense).
     
  6. "I ask Eggleston how he feels when he sees himself described as a hellraiser. 'Don't
    care much for it,' he replies, shaking his head, 'and it usually comes from people who
    don't know me, so how the hell would they know? It is sometimes a little bothersome
    from the standpoint that it is so completely inaccurate it can get real irritating. I try
    not to think about it. If I did, I'd be mad all day.'"
     
  7. That he is a heavy drinker is an interesting, but comparatively un-important aspect of this article. That he was a conduit, almost unaware of why he would, or wouldn't, take a photograph ('The "almost" is important, though.' ) is a great insight into the creative process that many successful artists employ. To not question "why?", but to respond without artific and not suffer the pointless self analysis, self doubt and neurotic introspection that can castrate a creative spirit.
    The focus on the personality and morality of an artist (as this thread drifts toward) rather than the work they produce, is a by product of our celebrity oriented culture, and indicates an insecure self righteousness that is a destructive force working to enforce a "norm" on social expression... an exclusive, hard and fast definition of "reality" and the criminalization of activity that threatens no one except the "actor". If Eggelston wishes to drink himself into oblivion and doesn't harm anyone else in the process, but rather inspires others with his creative energies and output, where is the value in condemning him?... t
     
  8. No. You're right. The key to creativity is to get blatzo'd on booze and drugs. We should encourage everybody to do the same:) I'm sure you'd be tickled if it was your children doing the same thing.

    Do you guys even think these comments through?
     
  9. Thomas, your grubby victorian morality seems to have served you well; you have a nice life and a faithful wife and a rewarding career.

    Every day, however, I celebrate the fact that your morality has still left scattered enclaves of debauchery in this country. Thankfully, there are places where you can still find the sweet smell of marijuana on a stroll down the street, or the taste of ripe genitalia after a good meal; there are still places for the bewildering and thrilling artistic creations of truely individual minds.

    If my daughter wants to get stoned and spin around in circles with her camera, the world will be a better place for it. I hope she inhales. I wish you would.
     
  10. Tom wrote
    If Eggelston wishes to drink himself into oblivion and doesn't harm anyone else in the process, but rather inspires others with his creative energies and output, where is the value in condemning him?... t
    Gee Tom, you're right. Let's look at some images created by this inspirational genius.
    Cigarettes
    Use the arrow at the right side of the image to flip through the images of Mr Eggleston that are posted and maybe you can explain to me what it is that an art student of today is suppose to find so inspirational.
    This will be most helpful:)
     
  11. Ward wrote
    If my daughter wants to get stoned and spin around in circles with her camera, the world will be a better place for it. I hope she inhales. I wish you would.
    And when she's sixty-five, she too can use your grand-daughter to act as her chaperone.
    A clue, there's pretty much nothing on the Barbery Coast that I haven't done. Waking up is a hard thing to do. But would you be so kind as to point out what's so inspirational about Eggleston's images that a budding art student should take note of.
    And is living in a boozed up, qualude loaded state of mind what you think all art students in the world should be doing as their detached form of inspiration? I submit that Mr Eggleston was doing a bit more then toking on a joint, as you suggested, of some good gold.
     
  12. Thomas Gardener, no matter how much you moan, complain and desperately try to denigrate Eggleston the fact is that, without any doubt, he has been hugely influential not only in photography but other forms of art as well, such as film. This is a fact and your attempts to deny it just speak of your pathetic outlook on just about everything. I've never seen anybody so completely down on the world as you are. Personally I think the problem is that you have been an unqualified failure as an artist and this continues to bother you into your doddering old age. Your days of creativity are long gone and curmudgerry is your only distinctive trait.

    "William Eggleston is perhaps the most innovative American photographer of the past 50 years whose unique style has transformed the way we look at the world."

    Accept it Gardner, as sure as you are going to pass into complete oblivion when you kick the bucket, this man's influence will live forever.
     
  13. Sam wrote
    "William Eggleston is perhaps the most innovative American photographer of the past 50 years whose unique style has transformed the way we look at the world."
    And what exactly should a budding art student take away from his art as a form of inspiration? What exactly do you consider to be innovative about Eggleston's images?
    Cigarettes
    Flip though his images and kindly point out what an art student is suppose to find so innovative and inspirational about the posted images? It shouldn't be so hard to give me a clue now, should it?
    I'll look forward to your insightful answer:)
     
  14. Garndner you've shown over and over again that you are a twit. I'm not even going to bother answering you because I would much rather look through my Eggleston books than waste any more time with you.

    PS I'm looking forward to the great art you've threatened to produce in the fall. We'll see how much influence you have. BTW you were wondering what to do with that 'prop' after you finished with it and I would suggest giving it to your wife. She must be dying to have some enjoyment after spending so many years with you.
     
  15. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    And what exactly should a budding art student take away from his art as a form of inspiration? What exactly do you consider to be innovative about Eggleston's images?
    Why not do what you always tell everyone else to do - go ask "the notables." You'll find out that they almost unanimously view Eggleston as one of the great photographers of the century. Since "the notables" are always so important to you, it's obvious that this is the right opinion.
    One thing to point out is that Sam, "the notables", and quite a few other people are far more interested in his photography than his personal life, unlike you.
     
  16. Okay Jeff, so you don't know why either. That's good:)
    How silly of me. You're right Jeff. I should take some time to see what the notables have to say on the subject because all I'll get here is hero worship:) That and nobody here seems to be able to answer a most resonable question:)
    I just figured that someone here would be able to point out what it is that's so innovative and inspiring about his images as it seems to be such a common theme or comment. I didn't realize my question was such a tough one:)
    Maybe someone else will be able to weigh in on the question I posed as to Eggleston and the innovative and inspirational nature of his images and what art students should learn from his efforts.
    One of Eggleston's efforts.
    Miami
    This, I'm suppose to believe, is both innovative and inspirational?
     
  17. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    If it doesn't do anything for you, it doesn't. But it does for "the notables" you're always so busy telling us to listen to. And you do seem to be consumed with his lifestyle. If you hadn't commented so much about it, it would be different, but you did. Your attempts to deny your own statements are absurd. Maybe Beckett was writing about you.
     
  18. Thomas please keep posting his shots because you have some that I've never seen before and I'm loving it - the smoke dispenser is fantastic!! Eggleston is peerless. His work is wonderful and inspirational. His devotion to his personal vision is one of the many reasons why he has and continues to play a major role the photographic art world. He has soul, he has a personality, he's creative and insightful.
     
  19. Jeff I got the impression that Thomas despises the notables. In fact he seems to despise just about everything and everybody as far as I can see. I have never seen anyone as negative as him. God help his poor wife and son.
     
  20. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Sam, you're probably right, but in the postmodern threads, he's always saying to read "the notables." Of course, it was that great "notable" Szarkowski who originally brought Eggleston to the public's attention. What I really like, however, is Eudora Welty's introduction to The Democratic Forest, which she ends with "A clear spring rises somewhere on the home place, for the human strain begins there for Mr Eggleston, and we see it in what follows: it turns into a river that runs through, or underneath, every place succeeding it. Whatever is done to block it or stop its flow, it surfaces again. Pure human nature proves itself in likely or unlikely places." Welty, a great writer and photographer, also proves herself a great commentator on photography when the moment calls for it.
     
  21. "For someone held in such high esteem, it shouldn't be so hard to point out the why of his innovativeness nor the source that one would find inspiration in."

    Because he had enough confidence in himself and vision to take a formerly despised format and style and breath life into it. Not new life, but life itself. He was a complete innovator as every single essay or story on him as stated repeatedly. He is able to find worthiness in the banal and even go as far as making 'dreamy', as in a dreamworld. He took color photography from the clutches of the clumsy popular photographer (not unlike yourself) and made it into an art form.

    You can see the man creating the work in his work. This is something you have been striving for yourself. He grabbed the attention of Swarzkowski who felt strongly enough about his previously unpublished work that he gave him a show at MoMA - I suppose now you'll have to try and degrade Swarzkowski. Even though he was met with considerable derision he continued to follow his heart and brain and in time others began to see the light. Can you imagine how much guts and committement it takes to be treated like that and not cower? That, in itself, should be enough to inspire budding young artists - but there's much more.

    In addition to his innovative work with color he is generally regarded as a natural with subtle composition. His sense of composition is very refined. Most will be taken with his images of the everyday and not realize why - unlike most photographers where you can say that you like 'the tonal quality' or the technical aspects. His work goes much deeper into those who are in tune or capable of receiving his message.

    Thomas, you are not one of those who can feel anything more than the superficial. I shouldn't have been surprised that you hate the man (yes you do hate him) because it's just one more person who is more successful than you.
     
  22. Jeff I agree with you 100% about Welty's intro. It's not the first (or last) time that he will be presented with such intelligence.
     
  23. It's a frail trick you employ, to use sarcasm in writing, where the lack of inflection makes it even easier for you to deny when you need to reverse your position.
    TG:"I'm asking about what makes his efforts so inspirational and innovative."
    You're asking for a defense, or an explanation of the aesthetic value in his images? Since that's been eloquently done already in this thread, let me repeat myself...
    I said in another thread about aesthetics: "A particular aesthetic sensibility can be unappealing to some, yet still be recognized as having a pronounced and particular awareness and sensitivity."
    You, TG, can't seem to accept the possibility that some art can be good art, and yet not appeal to your personal aesthetic sensibility.
    twm:"Consider the aesthetic of -Heronimous Bosch or Joel Peter Witkin-, as compared to the aesthetic of -William Eggleston or Robert Adams- and to that of -Paul Strand and Lee Freidlander-. They may not share a common aesthetic, yet they possess a distinct and undeniable awareness that is expressed consistently in their work, and can thereby be recognized as genuine. A shared aesthetic may be a pleasant experience, but a new, strange aesthetic is a challenging and refreshing one that can awaken in you a sensibility other than that which you already knew."
    Unfortunately, you seem unable to enjoy any sensibility other than your own. It wouldn't harm you in any way to admit that another language can sound beautiful, even if you don't understand what the words mean.
    Eggleston's work is important and relevant to the history of photography, whether you and I like it, or not. In the bigger picture, you and I are not relevant to history of photography. Eggleston's work is, whether you like it, or not.
    It's too late for your protestations to have any effect other than clarifying your own aesthetics. However, the manner of your protestations grant us all some insight into who you are. Your very entre into this discussion was by way of correcting Martin's grammer. No wonder your contributions inspire skeptical speculation regarding your motives... t
     
  24. Ahem. Why is Eggleston good? Because he does one of the things photography is supposed to do seemingly effortlessly. He defamiliarizes everything, makes banal things look mysterious, disturbing, surreal, odd, but in an apparently offhand manner.

    Eggleston out on the town with Josef Koudelka (whose photography seems relentlessly intense rather than apparently offhand). Now that's one conversation where I would like to have been a fly on the wall.
     
  25. Johnathan wrote
    He defamiliarizes everything, makes banal things look mysterious, disturbing, surreal, odd, but in an apparently offhand manner.
    That's very helpful as I couldn't agree less with you on your above. I'm not arguing with you but I sure won't agree with your analysis either:)
     
  26. Jonathan, if you might post a link or three where Eggleston does what you suggest so I could get a better idea of what you're trying to project.
     
  27. Well, Thomas, I thought some of your links demonstrated it actually, but he obviously doesn't impress you. Fair enough. I don't feel the need to get vicariously offended on Mr. Eggleston's behalf.

    A few months ago, I posted the paragraph below as an intro. to another question. Perhaps it's relevant here too. (Apologies to those who read it the first time, or consider it reductive, which it probably is.)

    "This question is indirectly inspired by what was surely one of the most unlikely 'joint' exhibitions of recent years, that of Ansel Adams and William Eggleston at the Hayward Gallery in London (and probably elsewhere), though I do hope this thread does NOT become a discussion of their relative merits, since this is not my intention. What was interesting to me was their quite different notions of how you should look at a photograph, and hence (implicitly) their different ideas of what purpose the image should serve. On the one hand, you have an exquisitely hand-crafted object, often monumental in subject and scale, which demands your concentration, that you study it at length in order to fully appreciate all the fine detail it contains. In other words, not only does the photographer adopt a patient, meditative, awe-struck attitude, but he implicitly demands the same attitude of the viewer. Each image makes the same claim, separately. On the other hand you have a huge proliferation of seemingly-casual images that seem to suggest that you take or leave them as you see fit. Maybe this is interesting?, they seem to say. If not, then no matter. Move on to the next one, at your own pace. Of course, this attitude has its analogue in the (relative) impermanance of colour prints, in comparison to the archivally-toned B and W print. I've become interested in taking this further: using 35 mm colour slide projections and sequences to suggest an even stronger sense of impermanance and diffidence, and combining this work with large format monochrome, though of course no-one is obliged to take me seriously."

    Eggleston did not, however, single-handedly invent colour art photography. The hugely innovative colour street photography of Joel Meyerowitz and the more subdued 'new topography' work of Stephen Shore were around at the same time. Ernst Haas was at it even earlier, though to less effect IMO.
     
  28. The question I want to ask is why could Thomas not see Eggleston's work as innovative and in some ways inspiring when others (including well-informed critics) can?

    this is a simple question and I hope Thomas can answer it.
     
  29. Thomas,

    it looks like a lot of your statements are offending or at least puzzling for a lot of people including me. You obviously have a very clear picture of what criteria good art and accepted artists have to meet.

    For bringing the discussion one step further it would be very helpful to understand what artists meet your criteria. Why don't you simply list some names of your favorites?
     
  30. Johnson wrote
    The question I want to ask is why could Thomas not see Eggleston's work as innovative and in some ways inspiring when others (including well-informed critics) can? this is a simple question and I hope Thomas can answer it.
    First off, one has to see my comments as a conservative critique. Many here don't want, like or approve of an art critique from someone who doesn't see things their way.
    Second, I see much of what I read here as pure nonsense. Little I read here meets the road of reality.
    When you have such a disproportionate amount of disconnect, where the clear minority sees something the rest of the world doesn't, this is telling as to the mind set of those in charge of the museum and galleries.
    I'm neither stupid, ignorant nor blind, as popular as that myth is and much of what I read here in support of Eggleston fails to pass a standard smell test. The test is that the average Joe or Josephine won't stand a snowball's chance when it comes to "Getting it." There's nothing in his images to support the comment that "He defamiliarizes everything, makes banal things look mysterious, disturbing, surreal, odd, but in an apparently offhand manner."
    Black Bayou Plantation
    A valid comment is that I don't see the asthetics. They're right, I don't. I also believe that people are so in need of something to embrace which gives them comfort in being different, that they'll grab on to anything, even something that's not there.
    Much of what I read about in the notables is about drugs, depression, gay, counter culture, anti-religion and anger with the status quo to the point that suicide, drug addiction, death by preventable disease and overdose seems to be the only way of coping with reality.
    I don't see happy and well adjusted. This is being reflected in the art and anybody that has a different point of view which doesn't included disease, addiction or depression in their thinking is attacked.
    So again, consider my comments in the relm of a conservative critique. I hope the above is found helpful.
     
  31. Martin wrote
    Thomas, it looks like a lot of your statements are offending or at least puzzling for a lot of people including me.
    The offense, in my opinion is that a conservative critique is not appreciated by most here. Preaching to the choir is all that's considered socially acceptable here these days:) As to puzzlement, I've tried in the past to explain and am happy to do so here.
    You obviously have a very clear picture of what criteria good art and accepted artists have to meet.
    I have no criteria for good art but please don't push bad art and expect one to be accepting.
    What I see in Eggleston is someone in an alchoholic haze, pointing his camera and saying what a good boy am I.
    William Eggleston
    I see someone running around, about eight years old in their mind, pointing a box browie, clicking the shutter, with no other thought.
    View from the Courthouse Tower, Morristown, Tennessee
    I see a little boy, in mind, running around taking pictures of the contents of cupboards and others grabbing onto these immature images of thought and touting them as something wonderful and I see professors having no choice but to do robotic lectures on the matter as curators of museums have picked up the banner.
    I see students becoming unwilling victims in their need to get a grade and become socially acceptable to those "in the know."
    For bringing the discussion one step further it would be very helpful to understand what artists meet your criteria. Why don't you simply list some names of your favorites?
    So far the Starn Bros are the only ones in contemporary photography that "meet your criteria" but the writings of most of the notables are quite enjoyable, entertaining, insightful, enjoyable and "meet your criteria." But the insightful nature of their writing are not reflected in their photographic efforts. It's as if they are two different people. The photographer as opposed to the writer.
    As an example, I loved what was posted and written about Eggleston at the beginning of the thread. A well written, very entertaining and insightful read to a noted individual. Wow, this guys has some good thoughts, they even mirror my think at times and points.
    But the man's art is really, really bad and shatters the image created in the essay/interview. The author can't be writing about the same person. Why? What the individual has to say about his efforts, isn't being reflected in his art.
    I think people want to believe sooooo badly in something that's not of conservative think that they'll believe anything they're told because it serves their needs. And surprise, surprise, I'm perfectly fine with this sort of detached, I need a different sort of home thinking.
     
  32. I might add that Gursky's not so bad either. I like his use of the color and light of reality to create his images with. Now this gentleman really takes the banal and makes it interesting:)
    Andreas Gursky
    There is a difference between thoughtless and thoughtful.
    I'm sure there are a few more rattling about up their that will pop to mind, as few as there are:)
     
  33. We can throw Mapplethorpe onto the pile as his images are very well thought out images and show a masterful use of lighting to create his images with.
     
  34. It looks like for you classical craftmannship is important for appreciating a piece of art. Thats fine but with such an approach you miss not only some of the most interesting photographers but also almost all developments in modern art in the last 70 years.

    I'm sure Picasso could have painted technically perfect like Rubens but would that be of any interest today?
     
  35. Martin wrote
    It looks like for you classical craftmannship is important for appreciating a piece of art. Thats fine but with such an approach you miss not only some of the most interesting photographers but also almost all developments in modern art in the last 70 years. I'm sure Picasso could have painted technically perfect like Rubens but would that be of any interest today?
    Thank you for your most reason'd response:)
    First, a thought, I mean no one harm in my critique, so please see what I write as a countering view point or critique and nothing more.
    As to missing, I'm not quite sure I'm missing much:) I have spent a great deal of time reading, both on and off line in regard to Postmodern photographic think. I've actually "got it", appreciate the intent and purpose of the art form. I like the idea of it all. Wonderful! Entertaining! Challenging! New perspective on photograpy. Freedom from the chains of restrictive pictorial oppression:) The addition of content to the photographic image. This is good stuff. So far, I'm good to go. But! What's being written to paper, isn't being reflected in the imagery, in my opinion.
    I feel that folks aren't using either their photographic skills or their minds to couple the content driven imaging of Postmodern photographic efforts with Pictorialism photographic efforts. Cindy Sherman comes to mind as her untitled series was very well done, showed lots of thought and took time on her part to create. Her current set of images that revolves around the grotesque and silly take little thought and degrade her earlier efforts.
    When I read about how a person has comported themselves throughout their lives, heavy boozing and drug use, one is better able to understand the genesis of their efforts as the affects of heavy alcohol and drug use on one's congnitive skills is very well known. It also goes a long way to explain what it is that I'm seeing and why I don't see what others seem so impressed by. When one talks about shooting shotgun style, without use of a viewfinder and then tries to talk about intuitive compositional skills, that makes a mockery of the term compositional skills as no skill is involved. But if someone is in an alcoholic haze, then shooting blindly/wildly is a behavior pattern one would expect, as cognitive skills are clearly impaired.
    If someone takes great delight in viewing these images of Eggleston, I'm good to go with that but this being a Philosophy of Photography forum, I'm compelled to give a conservative critique or view point as opposed to saying, the dude's cool.
    I will take up the earlier suggestion to see what notables have to say on the subject of Eggleston so as to maybe aquire better insight to what it is that I seem to be so clearly missing:)
    Thanks for the thoughtful question.
     
  36. Thomas,

    don't want to sound precocious, but your challenge is that your efforts for understanding postmodernism (or one of its forerunners like Eggleston) are almost fruitless because you don't take note of the developments leading to it.

    Being you I would forget Eggleston and especially postmodernism for some time and focus my attention on understanding what the modern age has been about. I guess up to now you haven't been very interested in the roads guys like Picasso, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp, Donald Judd, Joseph Beuys... have taken.

    As a second step you should read some of the writings from John Szarkowski on Eggleston and Atget.

    You will be surprised how things fall into perspective while your knowledge grows.

    Hope this helps a little lifting your blockade with modern art ;)
     
  37. Thomas, I haven't the time or inclination to read all of your words
    on this thread, but thank you for the links to individual Eggleston
    pictures. Contrary to your intentions, the few images you've
    chosen actually go a long way towards showing why Eggleston
    matters. For anyone who'd like a good overview of his career I'd
    recommend the catalogue (published by Thames & Hudson in
    2002, and titled "William Eggleston) of a Paris exhibition
    organised by the Fondation Cartier. It begins with his black and
    white work from the early 60s and ends with a series of images
    (commissioned by the Fondation Cartier) from Kyoto, Japan.
    Despite spanning a period of 40 years the quality and vision
    never drops.

    I realize it's not your intention Thomas, and I don't like the naked
    aggression that some people show towards you, but you infect
    this forum like a kind of online Japanese knotweed - clogging,
    and stifling all around you. Less really can be more when it
    comes to debate.
     
  38. Thomas I think your opinion of Eggleston is totally wrong. I also think that your insistence that those who like him, including me, are incapable judging for ourselves what is good or bad. I first saw Eggleston's photos before I knew anything about him and they made an instant connection with me. There is not a 'disconnect' as you are fond of saying and the only person I know who is 'disconnected' is you. You've said it many times as you've publicly tried to understand your disconnectedness. I personally have no problem understanding what I like and why I like it. I can clearly see many on here are of the same level as me. You are not talking to idiots or blind people who have been cleverly brainwashed into liking art that is not understandable to the average Joe or Josephine. We are not average Joe's on here and if that insults you then too bad. I personally feel that I am well above the average Joe when it comes to art, science, politics or any other field that takes some thought and understanding. There's plenty of art out there for the average Joe and I see no reason that we need to dumb things down to just to please them!!!! The average Joe doesn't even care about art and even less about photography.

    So far you've made a very poor, morally-based, bornagain Christian critique of Eggelstons work. Trying to degrade him because he has a drinking problem is insulting and shows a lack of compassion for your fellow humans. Describing him as producing his art in a drunken haze is a product of your own imagination. No where will you find this stated by him or anybody else.

    To me you've lost what last vestiges of credibility that you may (or may not) have had.

    And please continue to post his photos because it just becomes even more clear as to why he's a god. If you can't see that then it's your own problem and not mine nor anybody elses on here. When you die you will never be mentioned in the same breath as art or photography. Eggleston is already a living treasure and is already the subject of complete chapters in the history of art. I'm sorry that you have so much hatred built up for photographers and artists because you are missing out on so much. I was serious when I said that you should take up reading as your hobby because photography seems to fill you with so much anger that it can't be healthy.
     
  39. My second sentence should have read:

    I also think that your insistence that those who like him, including me, are incapable judging for ourselves what is good or bad is way off base.
     
  40. Boris wrote
    I realize it's not your intention Thomas, and I don't like the naked aggression that some people show towards you, but you infect this forum like a kind of online Japanese knotweed - clogging, and stifling all around you. Less really can be more when it comes to debate.
    Thank you for your thoughts Boris. I don't have the desire to be succinct as this forum will readily take your words out of context and a complete answer is more to my liking.
    What I find is many here just want people to say, "Yeah!" "He's cool." Sort of a one way love fest if you ask me. No challenge, no growth, no questioning, just admiration.
     
  41. What I find is many here just want people to say, "Yeah!" "He's cool." Sort of a one way love fest if you ask me. No challenge, no growth, no questioning, just admiration.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Once again you've set yourself up as the allseeing prophet, and as usual you are wrong. I don't see this happening at all and to me this is just another one of your lies. I admire Eggleston and many other photographers. I know why I admire their work and why I feel a connection with them. There are also many photographers I don't like. I do not like either Edward Weston or Minor White. There work does nothing for me but I can fully understand and accept why others do love their work and why they are as important to the photographic world as they are. I don't feel threatened, as you do, by being the odd man out.

    I have no idea why you think that someone who admires a photographer that you do not like is somehow inferior or are only doing it because they are following what others say and are not capable of thinking for themselves. You have a very dismal outlook on art and I seriously doubt you are capable of accepting ideas that have not originated in your own mind. In fact your modus operandi appears to be to discard anything that you yourself did not come up with.
     
  42. One of the things that keeps knocking at my brain, we were doing color back in 75-78 in community college (full color lab and enlargers, color pak filters w/desitometers) as part of the course work and as part of our artistic requirements.<p>

    According to the article, it's almost as if color didn't exist until Eggleston came along and that's pure nonsense as the West Coast around the San Francisco area was awash in Color photographers back in the 70's. My camera of choice back then was a twin lense reflex C330 and a Pentax ESII.<p>

    One day, a few years back, I provided services for a home. In this home were some renters who happened to be a part of a band. At their encouragement, I came to listen to them play. Yes, it was pure noise at about 120db. The important part of the exercise was the group of people in the audience, Goths, who were enjoying themselves, not what I thought of the music.<p>

    The point of my above, even if what I see in Eggleston do I consider pure amplified visual noise, if a group wants to rock out to his irreverent visual tunes, I'm cool with that.<p>
     
  43. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    According to the article, it's almost as if color didn't exist until Eggleston came along
    In this one simplistic sentence, it's wrong-headed your opinions are. It's a complete and total misreading of what the article says. It takes a willingness to understand in order to discuss anything.
    Here's an interesting comment on a "conservative" commentator on politics, one that explains the origins of the complete and total failure to comprehend Eggleston and philosophy reflected in the comments of a self-proclaimed "conservative" commentator on photography:
    Listening to O'Reilly talk is just fascinating. He is 100% convinced of everything he says, even when he's just pulling things out of his ass. It's almost impossible to argue with him, because there's virtually no logical connection between one statement and the next.
     
  44. Jeff

    You'll have to do better then that if you expect to engage me in written conversation in regard to your views and my views on Eggleston's efforts.
     
  45. For clarification purposes, when I speak of color photography, I speak of the use of it in art, as in people were using color in their artistic efforts without the influence of Eggleston on the West Coast in the mid 70's.
    The comment was a falsehood that perpetuates a myth to make the person sound grander then he is.
    The man who reinvented color photography is famous for pictures that some call banal, and others call extraordinary. He says his subjects are the very stuff of life.
    Some of us actually lived during this time frame and know the falseness of the above statement in regard to the lack or inclusion of color in their photographic artistic efforts.
    Some need to take the time to read and understand what it is that I have to offer before they go off on how close minded, stupid or otherwise they might find me.
    0090hz-18982984.jpg
     
  46. That Eggleston is a significant photographer is beyond doubt. An artist's body of work stands as a testimony to itself and he certainly has an impressive body of work. The lifestyle and behavior of an artist is the subject of sociological and psychological interest to some but in no way says anything about the value of the work the artist produced.

    Eggleston will continue to influence people in the arts in general way into the future juat as Eudora Welty does. They are both nuanced story tellers. IM very HO.
     
  47. Marina Warner writes in an essay, "Playacting, Chimerae and the Late Grotesque";
    "Contemporary twists on the grotesque do not any longer even always require that the objects of the representation be monstrous or even fantastic; the atmosphere of a work can be utterly grotesque, even when the forms it deploys are not disfigured, unnatural, outlandish or even curious. The thrust of horror today, in comics, films, and imagery pushes the ordinary into the realm of the uncanny, so that the light of the common day itself clouds and curdles. Cuddly comfort rags, children's toys, familiar bottles of condiments, and other homely and harmless ojects turn foul and sinister.
    The comment above goes a long way in explaining my feelings in that I don't see the sinister nature that one poster commented about. I see the images for exactly what they are, everyday objects that are of no threat.
     
  48. It's too bad, TG, that you seem unwilling to consider that some art can be good art, and yet not appeal to your personal sensibility. That it's okay to not like art that you recognize as relevant and significant.
    It wouldn't diminish you in any way to admit that (as an analogy) another language can be important and effective even if you don't understand what the words mean... t
    This thread is no longer about Eggleston's (or anyone's) photography...
     
  49. His statement, "I'm at war with the obvious." says it all. If can understand that statement, you will understand the essence of Eggleston.

    If that statement makes no sense to you, then, you won't understand the photos - it's as simple as that.

    If, to you, his photos look like kid running around with a box Brownie - fine, but if you choose to look at them very closely with an open mind, you will see they are very carefully considered and calculated prior to exposure. What you see as visual noise and with no composition, is to many, an intense photo that communicates through its own invented visual dialog.

    If you're trying to quantify the success of the photo by the number of rules followed, or you want to compare the composition to classic art or photographic images for success - forget it. The photos don't work that way - compare the image to the statement - "I'm at war with the obvious." THEN consider whether they are successful or not.

    He sees and presents the everyday scene as being as important (probably more important) than another clone photo of a mountain reflecting in a lake. The world has a strange beauty and importance through the presentation of everyday scenes.

    His photos show his world, and the way he sees it. They are intensly personal. If you don't relate to them, that's really okay. I, frankly, can't find much to interest me in a lot of Stephen Shore's photos. I just don't "get them."

    I think the problem people have with your approach to discussing photography, is rather than a free flow of ideas, you want to challenge everyone - "prove to me why" - that you should consider someone or some idea as valid.

    You want everyone to consider your ideas while you don't discuss, but readily dimiss everyone's response that doesn't fall in line with your suppositions and statements. This says you don't want to learn about other viewpoints and perhaps expand your aesthetic understanding - you'd rather attempt to argue someone into the ground for victory.

    This isn't about right or wrong, this is about expanding horizons and understanding. Photography (or art) can be a great adventure of exploration into territories unknown. That's the exciting part.

    Open your mind to new ideas, especially to the ones you don't understand. You'll really learn more from the photos or art you don't understand than from the work you immediately identify with.

    My suggestion would be to purchase an Eggleston book and look at the photos everyday to live with them. My bet is that you're a fairly intelligent person, and after a while you'll start saying, "yeah, I get that one, it's really a good photo." If you stick with it some more, you'll finally get to the point where you'll understand his work and why he makes images in a certain way.

    This is not to say you'll like every image. Do you like every image of Weston's or Paul Stand's (or your favorite photographer)? I don't. I can recognize the mind behind it and why the photo was taken, but, at an aesthetic level it just isn't something at appeals to me and I need to hang on my wall to see everday.

    You may never really like Eggleston, but, even if you identify everything about his work you dislike, you will learn something about yourself, your relationship with photography, and how you might make your photos more personal and more successful.
     
  50. Tom wrote
    This thread is no longer about Eggleston's (or anyone's) photography...
    Sure it is. I've posted an article on the guy and asked questions on how Eggleston has influenced your photographic efforts. Seems still on topic.
     
  51. "Sure it is. I've posted an article on the guy and asked questions on how Eggleston has influenced your photographic efforts. Seems still on topic."

    Eggleston's work has convinced me of the validity of color as opposed to black and white, and that expression of a personal vision is far more interesting than just producing another "beautiful photo."
     
  52. Steve wrote
    His statement, "I'm at war with the obvious." says it all. If can understand that statement, you will understand the essence of Eggleston. If that statement makes no sense to you, then, you won't understand the photos - it's as simple as that.
    I understand the statement perfectly, it's just the conflict he speaks of, doesn't show.
    If, to you, his photos look like kid running around with a box Brownie - fine, but if you choose to look at them very closely with an open mind, you will see they are very carefully considered and calculated prior to exposure. What you see as visual noise and with no composition, is to many, an intense photo that communicates through its own invented visual dialog.
    And I do have an open mind.
    If you're trying to quantify the success of the photo by the number of rules followed, or you want to compare the composition to classic art or photographic images for success - forget it. The photos don't work that way - compare the image to the statement - "I'm at war with the obvious." THEN consider whether they are successful or not.
    No rules are being applied to my think.
    He sees and presents the everyday scene as being as important (probably more important) than another clone photo of a mountain reflecting in a lake. The world has a strange beauty and importance through the presentation of everyday scenes.
    Air is more important than water as water is more important then food.
    I think the problem people have with your approach to discussing photography, is rather than a free flow of ideas, you want to challenge everyone - "prove to me why" - that you should consider someone or some idea as valid.
    Which to me is a valid form of communication. I'm comfortable with this form of communication as you're comfortable with Eggleston. I make the comment, you make a comment. To me, that's a free flow of ideas. Why, it's my choice to accept what you have to say as is it your choice to accept or reject what I have to say. Seems simple enough.
    You want everyone to consider your ideas while you don't discuss, but readily dimiss everyone's response that doesn't fall in line with your suppositions and statements. This says you don't want to learn about other viewpoints and perhaps expand your aesthetic understanding - you'd rather attempt to argue someone into the ground for victory.
    We all expect our ideas to be considered as you expect your ideas to be considered. Unbeknownst to you, I'm learning a lot from this interchange.
    This isn't about right or wrong, this is about expanding horizons and understanding. Photography (or art) can be a great adventure of exploration into territories unknown. That's the exciting part.
    Siiiiiigh!
    Open your mind to new ideas, especially to the ones you don't understand. You'll really learn more from the photos or art you don't understand than from the work you immediately identify with.
    I've posted often how I'm constantly learning and applying this to my photographic efforts. But my learning comes through reading what others have to say, not what others have photographed. Maybe this is a novel concept:)
    You may never really like Eggleston, but, even if you identify everything about his work you dislike, you will learn something about yourself, your relationship with photography, and how you might make your photos more personal and more successful.
    Currently I'm very pleased in the direction my photography is headed. Does this mean that I have to change horses:)
    Thank you for your thoughts on the matter.
     
  53. Steve wrote
    Eggleston's work has convinced me of the validity of color as opposed to black and white, and that expression of a personal vision is far more interesting than just producing another "beautiful photo."
    That's helpful. Why? Having grown up with B&W and what I term "The West Coast School of Grand Landscapes", I rejected B&W back in the late 70's and so grew up with color and pretty much assumed, reasonably, that everybody else did also. It seems I recall much of what was being done about me was in both B&W and Color. Sort of like if you run with freaks, you don't realize that you're a freak:)
    Considering my education background, as an artist, encouraged content and independent thought in one's artistic efforts, again, I incorrectly thought everybody else did also. Being trained, from the beginning, in both "Pictorialism" and "Content" driven imaging, it seems normal to blend the two worlds today.
    Thanks for the insightful thought.
     
  54. "I've posted often how I'm constantly learning and applying this to my photographic efforts. But my learning comes through reading what others have to say, not what others have photographed. Maybe this is a novel concept:)"

    So, then you've never learned anything by examining and studying art of any kind? The only way you learn is through reading? Self limitation by self definition. My Thomas, how novel.
     
  55. Strawberry vs vanilla. Everyone wins.

    Eggleston is to photography what Thelonious Monk was to jazz. I loved Monk. I love Eggleston. I can't explain it because like Pops Armstong said, "...you'll never get it."
     
  56. Eggleston has had a huge influence on my photography both in form and content. Further his work gave me the confidence to believe in my own fascination with the beautifully banal. His statement "I am at war with the obvious" has been my rallying cry.

    There, now you have a response to your challenge and like the last challenge you can quit harping on it. I wonder what dead end avenue you are going to go to travel down next time in your attempt to discredit Eggleston?

    BTW what does a color photo that you took in 1976 have to do with Eggleston?
     
  57. I rejected B&W back in the late 70's and so grew up with color and pretty much assumed, reasonably, that everybody else did also.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Who is 'everybody else' in this statement? The formalists? Shutterbugs? Photo-realists? Commercial and travel photographers? What is your frame of reference? You said you rejected the world of photographic art in the 70's so what 'everbody else's' are you lumping yourself in with?
     
  58. The point of my above, even if what I see in Eggleston do I consider pure amplified visual noise, if a group wants to rock out to his irreverent visual tunes, I'm cool with that.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    You are???!!!! You sure didn't seem very cool about it when you started your barrage of comments. In fact you seemed quite miffed that others did enjoy his work and that historians consider him important. Why this sudden change of tone? Why are you still arguing and challenging just about every comment supporting him? Why haven't you moved on to some other thread? Thomas, you have to be the least cool person I have ever encountered. Please quit insulting us with you lies and exaggerations.
     
  59. An invitation to let this thread die. Why not go over to the Street
    and Documentary forum and check out the link to Mitch Epstein's
    color work.
     
  60. I found this article of interest in support of debunking a popular uban myth.
    Tom Moody
    Enjoy the read and wishing all well with today's photographic efforts.
     
  61. FYI, MOMA in San Francisco will open it's Eggleston Los Alamos exhibition August 21. If
    it's like any of MOMA's other photo shows it will no doubt be excellent.

    Also, in September, Andy Grundberg and William Christenberry will host a lecture at MOMA
    critically examining Eggleston's work and career. Neat.
     
  62. Thomas, you should also read 'the new color photography' by Sally Eauclaire and everything will be revealed and you'll see Eggleston and other early colorphotographers like him in a whole different light. A photographical light that is, not a political...
     
  63. Phylo.

    Thanks for the suggestion but it's gonna have ta wait. Why? Just put on order, over at Powells.com a few books that will be my Fall reading. Amongst this group will be:

    Szarkoski's "William Eggleston's Guide."

    And a couple of books by Eggleston himslf:

    "William Eggleston, 2 1/4" and "Los Alamos."

    I have a firm belief that if you're gonna be closed minded on a subject, then do so with an open mind:)

    When I finish the books that I have on order and the ones I currently have, then I'll be happy to pickup a copy of "The New Color Photography" by Sally Eauclaire.

    I'm currently, including those that I added to the mailbag today, am now backed up by seven books.

    Thanks again for the suggestion.
     
  64. there is not text in Los Alamos so you will be forced to look at the pictures ;)
     
  65. Since there's no writing, I shouldn't have any problems then:)
     
  66. I second Phylo's suggestion on the New Color Photography. It'll also give you plenty of other references for you to educate yourself with.
     
  67. This is totally off track, but while Googling Sally Eauclaire I came upon this great little editorial by one of her consultants for The New Color Photography - Mark Hobson.

    It has nothing to do with this discussion but I just thought it was good advice, from someone who knows what he's talking about, for those who are interested in taking their photography further than Photonet.

    http://www.naturephotographers.net/articles0304/mh0304-1.html

    PS I'm an HTML retard, can someone tell me how to make proper links, as well as bold and italicize. Thanks.
     
  68. I forgot to add the Hobson also gives a list of modern 'masters', which includes Eggleston
     
  69. Whats interesting to me about Eggleston is that he is seeing things other people don't. You may like it or hate it, but you are obviously engaged by it.

    With all due respect, most of the work posted by the people debating this issue doesn't have this uniqueness; your pictures, while being technically proficient, are, by and large, derivative at best. I see no coherent bodies of work, just typically a mishmash of views with no real point of view.

    Thats ultimately what seperates Eggleston and other great artists. A consistent, unique POV which resonates ( either positively or negatively).
     
  70. Oswaldo wrote
    First things first, my appologies if I'm not too good with dialogue as opposed to question and answer:)
    Whats interesting to me about Eggleston is that he is seeing things other people don't. You may like it or hate it, but you are obviously engaged by it.
    And the people who I show his efforts to, have a difference of opinion in what they see which he does; his vision lacks depth in it's banality. I'm trying to be nice as to their choice of words. As to engaged, I'm engaged to the point of education, not because of his efforts. Maybe as my education progresses, as to his effors, my POV will temper.
    In order for one's critique to be valid, it stands to reason that they should take time to educate themselves to what they critique. This seems reasonable.
    With all due respect, most of the work posted by the people debating this issue doesn't have this uniqueness; your pictures, while being technically proficient, are, by and large, derivative at best.
    Considering that I've eschewed looking at other people's images, that's a compliment. Who or what are these derivations which you speak of?
    I see no coherent bodies of work, just typically a mishmash of views with no real point of view.
    Considering that's been my intent as I've publicly stated that I'm not a big fan of themes, that's a good thing. What I'm currently doing today, which does have a POV or purpose, it's just that my POV haven't been explored so deeply as other's POV have been. I don't expect to being doing a year from now what it is that I'm currently doing today and two years from now, I hope my efforts won't look like what I'm doing a year from now.
    Unintentionally you bring to bear the unasked question of originality and the affect of doing the same thing over and over and over ad nauseum. How many years of one style is enough before one realizes that there's a lack of growth and depth to one's efforts and this is the best one can expect from an artist?
    Thats ultimately what seperates Eggleston and other great artists. A consistent, unique POV which resonates ( either positively or negatively).
    That's helpful in understanding your POV. I personally expect myself to change over the years as well as to use a full range of possibilities. Example, dawn, morning, day, afternoon, late afternoon, evening, dusk, blue hour, nightime. I expect full use of natural lighting as photography is about painting with light, not just light of convenience. Those are my personal expectations. One comes to maturity by growing into new worlds, not sitting comfortably in the same world week after month after year. I expect this exploration of new worlds in notables as well. To create a style that brings one notariety is a good thing but to not create new worlds within your efforts isn't.
    Your view of my efforts is equal to my view of Eggleston in that you don't see or understand what I'm doing. I'll give you a clue; I find beauty in the banal and the daily stuff that we pass by without but a second glance.
    Here's an Eggleston image:
    Main Road to Greeneville, Tennessee 1980s
    Here's an equivalent of mine. The equivalency is strictly coincedental but the effort was purposeful in design.
    Yearning
    You draw your conclusions as to what each artist was doing or wanting to portray and what they want the viewer to walk away with as you complete the image.
    Another example is putting subject matter into context within it's surroundings.
    Eggleston's efforts
    Atlanta 1980s
    My efforts:
    Paulo
    It's your choice to draw your conclusions about my efforts and your conclusions are valid; just as it's my choice as to equal and opposite.
    Thanks for the thoughts
     
  71. Oswaldo wrote
    First things first, my appologies if I'm not too good with dialogue as opposed to question and answer:)
    Whats interesting to me about Eggleston is that he is seeing things other people don't. You may like it or hate it, but you are obviously engaged by it.
    And the people who I show his efforts to, have a difference of opinion in what they see which he does; his vision lacks depth in it's banality. I'm trying to be nice as to their choice of words. As to engaged, I'm engaged to the point of education, not because of his efforts. Maybe as my education progresses, as to his effors, my POV will temper.
    In order for one's critique to be valid, it stands to reason that they should take time to educate themselves to what they critique. This seems reasonable.
    With all due respect, most of the work posted by the people debating this issue doesn't have this uniqueness; your pictures, while being technically proficient, are, by and large, derivative at best.
    Considering that I've eschewed looking at other people's images, that's a compliment. Who or what are these derivations which you speak of?
    I see no coherent bodies of work, just typically a mishmash of views with no real point of view.
    Considering that's been my intent as I've publicly stated that I'm not a big fan of themes, that's a good thing. What I'm currently doing today, which does have a POV or purpose, it's just that my POV haven't been explored so deeply as other's POV have been. I don't expect to being doing a year from now what it is that I'm currently doing today and two years from now, I hope my efforts won't look like what I'm doing a year from now.
    Unintentionally you bring to bear the unasked question of originality and the affect of doing the same thing over and over and over ad nauseum. How many years of one style is enough before one realizes that there's a lack of growth and depth to one's efforts and this is the best one can expect from an artist?
    Thats ultimately what seperates Eggleston and other great artists. A consistent, unique POV which resonates ( either positively or negatively).
    That's helpful in understanding your POV. I personally expect myself to change over the years as well as to use a full range of possibilities. Example, dawn, morning, day, afternoon, late afternoon, evening, dusk, blue hour, nightime. I expect full use of natural lighting as photography is about painting with light, not just light of convenience. Those are my personal expectations. One comes to maturity by growing into new worlds, not sitting comfortably in the same world week after month after year. I expect this exploration of new worlds in notables as well. To create a style that brings one notariety is a good thing but to not create new worlds within your efforts isn't.
    Your view of my efforts is equal to my view of Eggleston in that you don't see or understand what I'm doing. I'll give you a clue; I find beauty in the banal and the daily stuff that we pass by without but a second glance.
    Here's an Eggleston image:
    Main Road to Greeneville, Tennessee 1980s
    Here's an equivalent of mine. The equivalency is strictly coincedental but the effort was purposeful in design.
    Yearning
    You draw your conclusions as to what each artist was doing or wanting to portray and what they want the viewer to walk away with as you complete the image.
    Another example is putting subject matter into context within it's surroundings.
    Eggleston's efforts
    Atlanta 1980s
    My efforts:
    Paulo
    It's your choice to draw your conclusions about my efforts and your conclusions are valid; just as it's my choice as to equal and opposite.
    Thanks for the thoughts
     
  72. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    With all due respect, most of the work posted by the people debating this issue
    What does this have to do with anything here? Nobody is discussing the work of the people posting on the thread. It appears to be a random insult with no reason for existence other than the insult.
     
  73. Thats ultimately what seperates Eggleston and other great artists. A consistent, unique POV which resonates ( either positively or negatively).

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    This supports a link that I made yesterday. In his editorial Mark Hobson (who has good credentials) said this is what makes a successful artist. Someone who has a consistent vision, a vision that they have taken ownership of and has their mark stamped all over it. You'll notice that Gardner does not do this and does produce a mishmash. He does have a style but it's not his - he has camera club aesthetics. This comes from the need that everything must either be beautiful or photographed in a way to look beautiful. Recently he believes he's founded a new movement, which involves taking banal subject matter (in his opinion) and photographing them in a way that makes them superficially attractive. This involves photographing bright neon light reflections in the rain at night and the use of low angles, with a wide angle lens to hightlight the subject and then having something in the background either working against or for the main subject. This is commonly known as layering. What he doesn't realize, because he refuses to look at the work of others, is that this style is as old as the handheld camera. It's very alive in the world of popular photography. Eggleston was very much 'at war' with this type of photography.

    PS ask TG who these people are that say they hate Eggleston's work.
     
  74. Sam wrote
    Eggleston was very much 'at war' with this type of photography.
    And it ain't working either:)
     
  75. I've come to this party late, and as such don't have the patience to update myself on all aspects of the debate. I just want to say that for me, Eggleston's work is almost why I photograph. Not to try to copy him, although if I could, I probably would, but because when you look at an Eggleston photo, you look again (I do), and you're not sure why you are looking, but you look again, there's a mystery there. For me the language is a pure photographic language, that shows me something words can't duplicate, or other mediums. And there's this underlying compositional sensibility that belies the seeming surface casualness. Looking through the "democratic forest" one night, my wife who was next to me and had taken off her glasses getting ready for sleep, said those are beautiful..'without my glasses they make perfect sense as abstract compositions'. The ability to capture that duality, for me is really fascinating in his work, and is a fascinating reality of photography, that there are these identifiable "things" in the chaos around us, while at the same time another underlying level of information and order. Eggleston shows this in form and color, in a way that I've never seen anyone else get close to. I've got a friend, a long time professional photographer who turned me on to Eggleston, Stephen Shore, and others and these are the people who got me excited about photography, and where I realized something was happening beyond just taking a pretty "well composed" picture. Another thing that resonates with me is that as I'm a jazz musician, Eggleston's photos simply grasp that improvisatory feeling and remind me of artists like Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman.. who interestingly met with much of the same type of criticism. As far as "substance abuse", he's living his life, not yours, get over it. Typical of the media to dwell on that stuff, it's not important, that's not a "lesson", or the lesson is, it's none of your business. Whether I know Charlie Parker had excessive habits or not doesn't change the music I hear. Same with Eggleston's work. It's beyond beautiful, and if we were to get our head into that space, we might find ourselves drinking a bit more also! These kind of artists remind me of astronauts, or shamans. They go "out there" or "in there" at great risk to bring back something the rest of us might not see. You can't play it safe and end up with this kind of work. IMHO.
     
  76. Dean just nailed it. Dean, check out Antoine D'Agata, an amazing photographer here in Paris. Reviled like Eggleston was 30 years ago...but man does he have a vision!
     
  77. Eggleston was very much 'at war' with this type of photography.

    And it ain't working either:)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    'Ain't it':)

    Hmmm let's see now:) Eggleston appears to have a chapter in the history of photography devoted to him:) You on the other hand....well, you're a pest exteriminator, well past your artistic prime:)

    May god bless your evening and come by for a nice chat :)
     
  78. Dean wrote
    I've come to this party late,
    And it was kind of you to stop by and lay your rifts down.
    Not being into heavy jazz, I appreciate the clarity of what you speak. Thanks for your insightful comments.
     
  79. Here's my effort in regard to Eggleston and this thread. Shot it this afternoon while providing services. It's the ceiling of a customer's garage.
    Eggleston Revisited
    Wishing all well with their photographic efforts.
     

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