Memphis

Object Details

Title:

Memphis

Artist/Maker(s):

William Eggleston (American, born 1939)

Culture:

American

Place(s):

Memphis, Tennessee, United States (Place created)

Date:

1967

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions:

16.2 x 24.1 cm (6 3/8 x 9 1/2 in.)

Copyright:

© Eggleston Artistic Trust

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William Eggleston was initially influenced by his friend Garry Winogrand's philosophy of photographing "to see what something looks like photographed," yet his own style is rooted in a personal approach. Here, he focuses on family members. His mother appears to yawn in front of the television. Eggleston's wife--seen in extreme close-up--smiles toward the camera. Her out-of-focus face and the older woman's blurred movement add a snapshot quality. The television, a symbol of suburban domesticity, sits prominently in the living room in front of a dramatic swath of curtains.

Around the time this black-and-white image was made, William Eggleston had already met his friends and colleagues Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. Eggleston was still experimenting with a style that would not be fully developed for several years--one that later flourished in the medium of color. In this early work, though, the themes and subjects of his photography were already present.

Exhibitions
Strange Days: Photographs from the Sixties by Winogrand, Eggleston, and Arbus (July 1 to October 5, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 1 to October 5, 2003
Bibliography

Keller, Judith and Brett Abbott. Strange Days: Photographs from the Sixties by Winogrand, Eggleston, and Arbus (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum) fig. 3.