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  1. #11
    lee
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    I found this on Wikipedia and I think it helps me understand Eggleston's work.

    from Wikipedia,

    It may help to compare Eggleston's work to the work of another illustrious Southerner, William Faulkner, who also grew up in, and drew his subject matter from, the Mississippi Delta region that is the subject matter of much of Eggleston's art. Both Eggleston and Faulkner drew upon insights of the European and American avant-gardes to help them explore their Southern environs in new and surprising ways. As the writer Willie Morris wrote, Eggleston's "depiction of the rural Southern countryside speaks eloquently of the fictional world of Faulkner and, not coincidentally, the shared experience of almost every Southerner. Oftentimes lurid, always lyrical, his stark realism resonates with the language and tone of Faulkner's greatest mythic cosmos of Yoknapatawpha County .... The work of Bill Eggleston would have pleased Bill Faulkner ... immensely." Eggleston seemed to acknowledge the affinity between himself and Faulkner with the publication of his book, Faulkner's Mississippi, in 1990.

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  2. #12
    lee
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    I also dont think the problems a lot of people see with the photos (compositon color the like) apply here. This is not about the rules of photography it is about art. It is not about the rules of Art it is about solving art issues. Eggleson has shown us the banal world as the banal world. Some of the photo artists have moved on to discover new ways to practice their art and craft.

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    Last edited by lee; 08-03-2006 at 09:04 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: add info

  3. #13

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    Thanks Lee for posting that. I was going to link to it and forgot.

    Personally I like Eggleston a lot. To me he is kind of the Harry Callahan of color photography. Color does not need to be all about purple mountain ranges and syrupy sunsets. some of the most intriguing images for color abound in the everyday.

    There are a lot of images of his on the Getty site, probably some more recognizable then this one, but I was struck by the combination of the pattern of the couch and the dress and the very stiff, pose and of course the ubiquitous cigarette.

    One side of my family is from Kentucky and southern Missouri. When looking at this I was thinking that IIRC every grandma or older aunt looked just like this when I visited them as a kid.

    If anyone is familiar with the work of Alec Soth (Sleeping by the Mississippi and Niagra) you recognize a definite lineage from Eggleston.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
    The more I look at it, the more I like it. It's not so much a portrait as a study in textures. Her dress against the couch, and the manmade colors of the fabrics against that incredibly beautiful stone floor and the natural colors of the leaves.

    Phew... he is subtle that Eggleston. Works for me... I keep coming back for more!

    I'm enjoying these threads, Jim!
    These are some of the things that caputred my eye too.

    Also, the juxtaposition of a "new" colorful sofa cushion on an old faded white "glider". The similar juxtaposition of the bright "fresh" flowers on the cushion versus the dried leaves on the ground.

    Also, note that cigarette in her hand complements the white on the glider and trellis....

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by naturephoto1
    Cate,

    I still do not like it.

    Rich
    Of course, you don't have to like it. No-one HAS to like anything.

    But I like it - it's so full of the woman and her life.

    (I agree with Suzanne - These threads are becoming REALLY addictive - they're great!)
    Cate

  6. #16
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    I grew up in Kentucky, and like what Jim stated above, this scene commonplace to my eye - so much so that it doesn't even register so I default to looking for elements that I am familiar with, like line, form, etc. To someone with different expectations and experiences, this might appear more striking, but it seems plain to me. I don't dislike it because it doesn't use all of the familiar elements that others use in their art, but I don't overly like it either because it looks like the pictures that I took when I was a kid growing up. I have read about 'snapshot ethic', but at this point it doesn't really move me as much as the work of some other photographers. Having said that, I don't discount his work as poor, but rather simply as something that doesn't do much for me at this point in my life.

    - Randy

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by reellis67
    I grew up in Kentucky, and like what Jim stated above, this scene commonplace to my eye - so much so that it doesn't even register so I default to looking for elements that I am familiar with, like line, form, etc. To someone with different expectations and experiences, this might appear more striking, but it seems plain to me. I don't dislike it because it doesn't use all of the familiar elements that others use in their art, but I don't overly like it either because it looks like the pictures that I took when I was a kid growing up. I have read about 'snapshot ethic', but at this point it doesn't really move me as much as the work of some other photographers. Having said that, I don't discount his work as poor, but rather simply as something that doesn't do much for me at this point in my life.


    Interesting - Randy
    Randy,

    Interesting post. At one time I did dismiss work like his as to simple and banal (the snapshot ethic as you so aptly put it). But maybe as I get older or just more interested in color work I find it more and more interesting. I guess maybe for this particular image it is more about the textures and variations as Suzanne pointed out.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  8. #18

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    In the book "The Democratic Forest" (with words by another fine Southern writer, Eudora Welty), Eggleston said something to the effect that he is at war with the obvious. I take that to mean that the obvious way to make a photograph is the opposite of his intentions.

  9. #19
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    I think for me it's the lack of anything that stands out that is the problem. I've looked at the other Eggleston photos on the Getty page and they are much more interesting. Like the Stephen Shore photo posted a while ago, the problem with such pictures, in my opinion, is that they function against a specific background (like ordinary words suddenly taking violent meanings in precise contexts). It was probably a bold statement to put such an "ordinary" photo in a gallery a while ago.

    Come to think of it, there is one thing that attracts my attention: it's too perfectly ordinary. Most of the time family snapshots have a flaw that exudes some dynamism: overexposure, blur, expressions, bad framing, etc. Here, all these "defects" are carefully ironed out: the light is perfect, no blur, proportionate framing, etc.

    It's more interesting now, in a very subtle way, though, but more than I thought at first sight...
    Using film since before it was hip.


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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    I think for me it's the lack of anything that stands out that is the problem. I've looked at the other Eggleston photos on the Getty page and they are much more interesting. Like the Stephen Shore photo posted a while ago, the problem with such pictures, in my opinion, is that they function against a specific background (like ordinary words suddenly taking violent meanings in precise contexts). It was probably a bold statement to put such an "ordinary" photo in a gallery a while ago.

    Come to think of it, there is one thing that attracts my attention: it's too perfectly ordinary. Most of the time family snapshots have a flaw that exudes some dynamism: overexposure, blur, expressions, bad framing, etc. Here, all these "defects" are carefully ironed out: the light is perfect, no blur, proportionate framing, etc.

    It's more interesting now, in a very subtle way, though, but more than I thought at first sight...
    Michael,

    I would consider this to be a flaw as I stated above: 3 rungs of the fence appear to "grow" out of the top and sides of the woman's head.

    Rich
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

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