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William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008
Elvis’s Graceland, a freezer stuffed with food, a Gulf gasoline sign standing in a deserted rural landscape—these are only a few of the iconic images captured by the “democratic camera” of photographer William Eggleston. Not only has he drawn upon images so telling of American culture, he has produced them with an intensity and balance of color that have helped elevate the ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published December 2nd 2008 by The Whitney Museum of American Art
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Career-spanning overview of Eggleston's work with helpful essays that outline his life and influences. It also devotes space to his important video of nighttime southern debauchery "Stranded in Canton." Docked a star because it feels a bit like a random greatest hits compared with the cohesion of his other books.
This is what I would call a 'coffee table' book with mostly color plates of William Eggleston's photography. Some of his pictures I really liked but others didn't impress me. There are some dry articles about his work and life and apparently why he is so important as a photographer. He did breakthrough with getting color photography respected as an art although there was much criticism at the time of his first museum exhibit. The 'democratic' references to his pictures mean that he insists that ...more
A great overview of Eggleston, who was a pioneer of color photography. There are several essays to accompany the photos, some great, some not so great. In a couple there is a compelling argument for Eggleston as a pop artist rather than a Southern Gothic artist or regionalist of some stripe. The insistence that any subject is as good as another, that no photo could be favored or the others he took, the due praise given to Cartier-Bresson, Frank & Winogrand, these all bolster the case for the ...more
Eggleston was among the first photographers of urban street photography (for lack of a better tag) to use colour film in his work. This volume features over 200 plates of his work of ordinary objects shot from odd angles. I really enjoyed about a third of them and while I don't think he's top rank for me he does deserve credit for branching out into colour film when others wouldn't. The essay at the front on Eggleston's life is interesting too.
The great American Southern Goth Photographer. This is a catalogue to a retrospective that just took place, and it's a superb collection of his images from the beginning to the current. Eggleston is a Southern dandy, who has an incredible eye to capture the world around him. Essential photo book.
The photos are unquestionably 5 stars. This book gets a 4 due to a mixed bag of essays, curatorial choices, and making much too big of a stink about the video work. Still, a nice starting point for folks who have Wm Eggleston's Guide but aren't familiar with his other books.