Tuesday 4/26/2005

William Eggleston

William Eggleston described his early inspiration for making color photographs as watching "a continuous ribbon of small, oblong images" emerge from developing machines in photographic laboratories. "Who knows [who] took them, and who knows where, and for what reason. That became probably one of the most useful things . . . slowly watching these things emerge . . . . It was one of the most exciting and unforgettable experiences as a whole-and educational for me."

A native Southerner raised on a cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta, Eggleston has created a singular portrait of his native South since the late 1960s. His large-format prints monumentalize everyday subjects ranging from a tiled shower to a horse meandering across a field. Although he began his career making black-and-white images, he soon abandoned them to experiment with color technology. The Museum of Modern Art's groundbreaking one-man show of 1976, William Eggleston's Guide , established his reputation as the pioneer of modern color photography. He continues to live and work in Memphis.

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