ART: William Eggleston

ART: William Eggleston

PHOTOS | WILLIAM EGGLESTON

I was late to the Eggleston party. His work was thrust before me while doing a third year university photography class and I filed it in the “makes my eyeballs happy but is utterly unrelated to the cyanotype printing methods I’m working on” section of my (apparently information hoarding) mind. A couple years later, a colleague loaned me a film on old man Eggleston. Watching him repeatedly circle a collapsing house in a field, capturing its dignity as it slowly fell down, nudged memories of my own curiosity for condemned buildings as a kid. That was me done: I went on an Eggleston binge.

After subsequent years of soaking up his work, the mere mention of William Eggleston conjures in my mind an ephemeral American summer I never experienced. Dreams float before half closed eyes in the sun, of Bukowski and Didion, of long hot days, driving around in muscle cars and drinking soda pop, of cheese grits at the diner, of bourbons on the porch at night, the buzzing of a bug zapper in the back of my mind. The effervescence of the snapshot and our beloved Kodachrome.

William Stapp from the Smithsonian once observed that “snapshots pose very complicated questions because snapshot photography is in reality a very sophisticated mode of seeing. It is sophisticated, but it is naive at the same time”.

Eggleston takes that naivety and gives it a gun.

Kel has the face of a siren and the mouth of a drunken sailor. She enjoys dancing up a storm to Slayer and 1930s jazz, whispering sweet nothings to her CM250 ‘Bronson’ and delicately adjusting her carburettors, but can also tell you the genus of Magnoliophyta. Kel is our Associate Editor and Project Manager, and has the organisational prowess of a circus ringmaster, using it to crack the IVV team into shape with colour coded calendars and to-do lists.