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William Eggleston

The Democratic Forest

Is it time to try to talk about William Eggleston? How hard is it to try to capture what he does? So truly mysterious are his photos to me -- while they are also radically plain, and simple and even kind of unaesthetic. He once described his work as a “Democratic Forest” where he was taking pictures of anything, everything, no hierarchies, no story. But this doesn’t begin to point at the magic and strangeness of his choices, so thick and evocative and to this California Yankee his mind and photos are deeply Southern: kinda decadent, maybe boozy, they have all the time in the world, they aren’t concerned with pleasing anyone. They’re like an exquisitely lazy, plotless novel, with no events, but lots of hard-to-pin down information. Eggleston is one of the mountains on my horizon by which I orientate myself – even in this film which doesn’t have many Egglestony moments, even if I’m shooting in another way, I feel like I’m shooting “not like Eggleston” which shows his great influence. In his book “The Democratic Forest” he says he’s “at war with the obvious” – usually I wouldn’t buy a statement so aggrandizing, so poetic and convenient, but like the black gloves he somehow rocks without question – I really believe him.

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