I was introduced to William Eggleston's work during college. I immediately fell for it. I understand it. It makes sense to me. More so than a really beautiful black and white photograph of a landscape—not that there is anything wrong with that! Maybe it just has more to do with the fact that his subject matter is primarily shot in the South, a lot of it being in and around Mississippi and the Delta. It is subject matter that is familiar.
Anyway, the Frist is currently featuring an exhibit on him, so recently I went. What a treat to see his work up close. There is an image that I have looked at many times, but only after standing inches away from it did I notice an airplane in the upper left corner. This made me smile. I love his work because of this. Everyday images, but if you look closely there are so many layers to it. For the longest time, the only art book I had was a book of his photography called 2 1/4. I have spent a lot of time looking through this book and every time I turn a page I am always left wondering why he captured that image. What was it about each particular moment that caught his attention? I love that it is never explained either. We are spoon-fed all of these messages and symbols and meanings, it is refreshing to have to look a little closer.
His color palette is the other thing that RESONATES with me. A pale blue sky against a bright red car, a tree covered in vines that are the most beautiful shades of green, a lady in a navy dress sitting on a bright yellow wall, a white man dressed in a black suit next to a black man dressed in a white jacket. If I were only looking for color inspiration, I would find a new palette in every image. But I am looking for more reasons than that. The content of his photography is intriguing and confusing. It sometimes feels too private. Other times, is light. But never boring.
I am happy to have this exhibit in town for a while longer. I expect to visit a few times. I am also happy to have purchased my third "real" art book because of it.