William Eggleston

One of the three recent books that arrived was William Eggleston’s Guide, along with Ansel Adams 400 Photographs and Willam Klein’s ABC.

I have looked and looked again at the images in the book and tried to appreciate their purpose but they do nothing for me, not as individual images or as a whole. I have even gone to the lengths of finding one of his rare public Q&A sessions about his work that is on video. Eggleston seems to have little to say about any of his images and often seemed to be dismissive or worse just get plain cross at what he considers ‘stupid’ questions.

I realise that art, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder and subjective. I also realise that I would not like every photographers work that I reviewed, but this is an undertsatement in this case, perhaps I am missing something fundamental and will come to realise I have a lot yet to learn. But I can only give my opinion of now and am surprised at how much I dislike this book. To me this book is like the story of the Emporers Clothes, someone has said it is art and everyone else is afraid to say they are not.

To me there is no redeeming image in the entire book, it is a collection of snaps at best and the shot of the dirty electric oven is the crowning glory. In fact I am so disillusioned with this book and Eggleston’s images that I am not going to talk to a single one. I am surprised that this book has created such a strong reaction with me, I am sure Eggleston is a nice chap and others see great merit in his work. But it’s not for me.



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