Friday, November 5, 2010

Photo Friday: William Eggleston

I've spent the last few days waffling over who to do for my first-ever Photo Friday. I wanted to do someone just a little under-the-radar just to be unexpected, but my soft spot for Eggleston got in the way.

William Eggleston's work pretty much single-handedly legitimized color photography as a valid art medium. Okay, legendary curator John Szarkowski helped, but Eggleston took the photos.

Born in Memphis in 1939, Eggleston took up photography as a hobby in the late 1950s. In the years that followed, he began experimenting with color photography. His real artistic breakthrough was his discovery of the dye-transfer process in 1972, which allowed him to create prints with hyperreal vibrancy and saturation. I don't mean to say that he invented it; he just discovered the capacity it held for his work.




I've always thought this photo by Juergen Teller from the Marc Jacobs Daisy campaign was a pretty blatant rip off of the photo above.



I love Eggleston for a few reasons. One is the immediacy of his work. The vibrant colors, shallow depth of field, and perfectly crisp focus isolate the subject in such a way that you see it not as an image on a page or a wall but as something physically before you. I also love the banal subjects he chooses. You could call it a postmodern statement, but I take it more as a reminder of how striking our everyday world really is.







Eggleston also has a place in my heart for his involvement with one of my all-time favorite bands, Big Star, who also hailed from Memphis. Eggleston did a lot of shooting in Memphis in the early 1970s, and the late Alex Chilton (Big Star's frontman) dated Eggleston's second cousin, Lesa. Big Star used Eggleston's famous "Red Ceiling" on the cover of their second album, Radio City.





Lesa, a beautiful young woman who had just graduated from high school, inspired many of the songs on Big Star's tragic nervous breakdown of a third album, Third / Sister Lovers. (So titled because another member of Big Star was dating Lesa's sister.)


The girl in red is Lesa. You can read more about this stunning photograph here and the Big Star implosion saga as it pertains to Lesa and Eggleston here. (These are really interesting reads, I highly recommend them!)


I think this is also Lesa.

Eggleston is still alive and working. In 2005, he was the subject of a documentary called William Eggleston in the Real World.

And, on another note, if you enjoy this blog, I would love for you to follow me on Google Friend Connect (link to the right) or via Bloglovin'! Let me know, and I'll be sure to follow you back.

Follow oh so sophi

All of these photos are copyright the Eggleston Trust. I pulled them from the following websites:
http://www.egglestontrust.com/

24 comments:

matchboxmuse said...

these photos are so gorgeous! thanks for compiling and sharing them :) i've added you back on blog lovin'! thanks for visiting and following me.

love, M

Fashion Fabrice said...

great pictures! I recently discovered your blog! It's a great read! love your pictures and you outfits! Your style is great! Im a fan:)

I just became a follower!
Hope you visit me and follow me back!

Lots of love,
FASHIONFABRICE

Have a great day:)

Michal said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!! I was totally unfamiliar with Eggleston & these photos are just mesmerizing. I love the deep colors and interesting but ordinary subjects. The whole connection to Big Star is so cool. I love that band!! I'm so glad you decided to do Photo Friday. (:

PS In reply to your last sweet comment- I must disagree. I definitely wouldn't say you play it safe! I love the way you put outfits together-your style is definitely inspiring! xo

Zarna said...

these photos are lovely!! great friday photo gallery!

stayfabulous,
zarna
www.zarnasrunway.com

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

i love these pictures! i feel like we need to be friends haha we have so much blog stuff in common, thank you so much for all your supersweet comments on my blog!!!

hiven said...

stunning
x enter my giveaway? six whole miss patina dresses to giveaway.

hannah, heart city said...

these are pretty incredible- i love the attention to hair! great post :-)

Vikki said...

Amazing pictures! Thanks for sharing!

xxx
Vikki

http://stylometre.blogspot.com

Luna said...

sophi, thank you so much 4 the sweet comment! it really means a lot to know that i can be inspiring :) hehehe, i am following you back. much love.

ps- thos fotographs are SWEET :)

Laura said...

really nice pictures!! :))

Annebeth said...

I love pictures that feature beautiful girls, so these get my thumbs up.


btw, I responded to your comment on my blog about skinny girls dominating chictopia, so let me know what you think!

Collette Osuna said...

Lovely photos....really cute blog!!!

Stop by and say Hello ♥
Enter my Awesome ModCloth Giveaway

kathy said...

Love all these pics! x

SMASH said...

oh wow, thanks for the introduction! I am going to look up more photos, I love his work! and I agree, the first photo was so ripped off by Juergen Teller!!!

xx
MILK TEETHS

JennaStevie said...

I love these photos, thanks for sharing!!

Fashion Rehab said...

These are lovely pictures!! :)

Mademoiselle Antonova said...

i'm a new follower :)
thanks so much for this post! i love william eggleston. but it was still nice to read your post... rather educating :)

JennaStevie said...

I love these photos, thanks for sharing!!

hannah, heart city said...

these are pretty incredible- i love the attention to hair! great post :-)

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

i love these pictures! i feel like we need to be friends haha we have so much blog stuff in common, thank you so much for all your supersweet comments on my blog!!!

Michal said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!! I was totally unfamiliar with Eggleston & these photos are just mesmerizing. I love the deep colors and interesting but ordinary subjects. The whole connection to Big Star is so cool. I love that band!! I'm so glad you decided to do Photo Friday. (:

PS In reply to your last sweet comment- I must disagree. I definitely wouldn't say you play it safe! I love the way you put outfits together-your style is definitely inspiring! xo

matchboxmuse said...

these photos are so gorgeous! thanks for compiling and sharing them :) i've added you back on blog lovin'! thanks for visiting and following me.

love, M

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