My pick of William Eggleston work

This abstract photo has no reference nor representation of a particular scene. This photo emphasises the contrast between the shiny and smooth wheel cap versus the dirty, rough and rusty mud guard. The pale musky colours accentuate the era of the car giving authenticity to a vintage look and feel of the ’70s.

Beneath the obvious content of this photo i.e. the car, there lies a clue to the photographer. This indirect approach, tantalise the audience, by exposing the true subject of the photo i.e. The distorted reflection of William Eggleston or at least part of him on the car bumper.

The viewer instinctively focuses on the geometric shapes of the wheel which form repetitive circles within smaller inner circles. This intentionally distracts the viewer from William’s reflection.

The photo leaves few clues as to the identify of the car, the owner, the location or even the time of day in which the photo was taken. There is no number plate and no road sign to help identify the setting. Even the angle in which the photo is taken, prevents the viewer from ascertaining the length of the car’s shadow from which one can derive the time of day. The lack of expression in the photo continues to add to the mystery.

What we do know from William is that he spent most of his life in Memphis Tennessee. His theme as always been to portray ‘Everyday life’ and therefore we can assume he took this photo during a daily walk, maybe even to his car. The only clue we do have is that the car must have been parked, we know this because Eggleston’s reflection would otherwise be stretched horizontally as the car travels along.

The scale of the print was in line with the rest of the exhibition prints. Whether this was intentional or not, clearly having a bigger print would have allowed the viewer to spot the reflection more easily. Due to the low ground angle in which the photo is taken, it leaves the viewer with little space, feeling trapped and almost claustrophobic.

The exhibition itself was laid out in a very plain room, four walls with evenly spaced out photos of equal size, mounted on very simple black frames. No photo was given any greater prominence that the other, with each photo lacking in any narration and title. All of these factors sum up to complement the theme of the photographer. Just like in your every day to day life, each event is bland, repetitive, unmemorable and rather dull.

Overall I thought the exhibition perfectly matched Eggleston’s style i.e. banal and dull. Personally I was able to appreciated his intention. However it did leave me wondering if a novice visitor would be able understand the theme. Hence they only only improvement I would make, is to provide additional content for those who are not aware of Eggleston’s unique style.

Ultimately for me, the exhibition expressed Eggleston’s loneliness. From his work I felt he was an introvert man, lacking in people skills and who admired the simple things in life.

This entry was published on 12/16/2013 at 18:17. It’s filed under Contextual Influences in Art and Design, Review and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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