Monday, December 15, 2008

Contemporary before it was cool to be contemporary.

So I had mentioned that there was the awesome exhibit of William Eggleston's work at the Whitney and I finally went last week and my experience was interesting.

The exhibit made me love the eye and skill of Eggleston all the more.
His ability to catch the everyday and the banality within it with such beauty.
And I truly respect the fact that he was doing this in the 70's when no one else was approaching the photographic subject in the same way.

But seeing all his work in person in a gallery space made me not love a lot of contemporary photography as much... It felt like so many young photographers that are celebrated today are pretty much Eggleston dopple-gamers- without the grit.
So much of the imagery reminded me of a number of "trendy" photographers and most all the figurative work looked like they were taken straight out of an editorial spread in a magazine.
To me this means Eggleston was all the more amazing and talented because all of these photographers, stylists, editors, and gallerists flock to work that emulates his... and I realize now how much work does...
But I will admit it kind of annoyed me too... seeing the work of this odd and unique visionary...and if you watch the documentary on him you will realize how odd he truly is... being re-created and turned directly into commodity.

So it was amazing to see and inspiring, even his newest work... but strangely sad to recognize so many of the images even though I had never seen them before.

1 comment:

Joanna Goddard said...

agreed! william eggleston's work is so amazing. i totally enjoyed the exhibit too -- it was huge!