I would have thought there's quite a number in every family archive like that. I think family photographs definitely hold more interest the more you know, or feel a connection with the people in them.
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
Yes, it does look like something from the Instamatic school of photography.
Originally Posted by pentaxuser
Thinking back on the photo, I was reminded of a portrait of Catherine the Great I saw at a recent museum exhibit: in terms of subject matter, the portrait is the most standard, official-picture type of thing. Subject in center, light coming from 45deg and above, dark background, and some objects here and there. However, the objects were carefully selected to make a symbolic statement about her reign. Most official portraits use the same technique: make it plain, but write your meaning with picture details.
What does it have to do with photo? Well, because we consume photos much more often, and much more faster than we do painting, we tend not to "read" them. Also, the symbolic-object technique is not always a part of photomaking, given that photographers often picture what is available, rather than always carefully choosing the details.
We tend to linger less on "reading" the photos. With a disarmingly simple picture like Eggleston's, the slower viewing method may be more appropriate. For instance, some people have mentioned the composition of Eggleston's photos resolving into the american South flag.
A caveat of this traditional fine arts appreciation is reading too much into a photo. We all know the enormities that a piece of concrete can generate in a gallery. Trapping the viewer by offering meaninglessness where meaning is expected wasn't as common before the 20th century as it is.
Using film since before it was hip.
"One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal
, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11
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"A picture must be painted in such a way that the viewer can understand its meaning. If the people who see a picture cannot grasp its meaning, no matter what a talented artist may have painted it, they cannot say it is a good picture."
I'd hope so... It's Kim Jong-Il proscribing what art should be in North Korea - though when he posts on APUG I think he posts under a couple of different names... :-)
Originally Posted by Stargazer
I am not a fan of this. Some time ago I actually walked into an exhibition of his as part of a wider exhibition and left within 5 minutes. It does nothing for me. I am not 'proud' of that, but just dont get anything from his images - good or bad...no emotional repsonse at all.
This one has many of the 'qualities' (characteristics) some have mentioned, granted but I feel that many of these comments are made with certainty and confidence in the knowledge that his work is critically acclaimed for reasons not dissimilar. I do however wonder what the response would be to this image were it posted in the critique gallery. I suspect few views and a low probability of anything other than "next time you might want to think about...." type comments. I think a lot of the people commenting here just would not make the same comments were it from an unknown despite the fact that its more humble origins would in no way diminish its value as art....surely. I think work such as this is boosted enormously by the idea of what it is supposed to be. This added to what the photographer is supposed to be about results in an image dripping in significance far beyond its reality. I think it is more often about the artist and what he/she stands for than the work itself. Take away the Eggleston from this and what are you left with? A cr@ppy photo I suspect. Is the 'variety of tectures' or 'juxtaposition of this or that' really enough - who are we trying to kid? You could come up with the same comments for most badly conceived and executed images.
Just my opininated opinion
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She's sitting on a metal glider, not a sofa or couch. Patio furniture from the 50's or before. I get the idea that her per patio was once neat and fashionable, but has fallen into neglect because no one has the time or energy to keep it up.
Maybe "in the day" she owned Donald's softtail.