ARTPIL Profiles of the Arts
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William Eggleston
photographer

William Eggleston is one of the most influential photographers of the latter half of the 20th century, credited with pioneering fine art color photography in his iconic depictions of the American South. Born on July 27, 1939 in Memphis, TN, where he currently lives and works, Eggleston’s initial style was influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans. He attended at various times Vanderbilt University, Delta State College, and the University of Mississippi, but never graduated. He began experimenting with color film in the 1960s, developing a signature style combining a snapshot aesthetic with Southern Gothic imagery. A predecessor to Martin Parr, Nan Goldin, and other documentary photographers working in color, Eggleston’s dye-transfer prints elevated quotidian activities to high art. “I had the attitude that I would work with this present-day material and do the best I could to describe it with photography,” Eggleston explains, “Not intending to make any particular comment about whether it was good or bad or whether I liked it or not. It was just there, and I was interested in it.”

artnet.com

William Eggleston
photographer

William Eggleston is one of the most influential photographers of the latter half of the 20th century, credited with pioneering fine art color photography in his iconic depictions of the American South. Born on July 27, 1939 in Memphis, TN, where he currently lives and works, Eggleston’s initial style was influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans. He attended at various times Vanderbilt University, Delta State College, and the University of Mississippi, but never graduated. He began experimenting with color film in the 1960s, developing a signature style combining a snapshot aesthetic with Southern Gothic imagery. A predecessor to Martin Parr, Nan Goldin, and other documentary photographers working in color, Eggleston’s dye-transfer prints elevated quotidian activities to high art. “I had the attitude that I would work with this present-day material and do the best I could to describe it with photography,” Eggleston explains, “Not intending to make any particular comment about whether it was good or bad or whether I liked it or not. It was just there, and I was interested in it.”

artnet.com

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