“I am at war with the obvious.”

10 william eggleston profile

I am afraid that there are more people than I can imagine who can go no further than appreciating a picture that is a rectangle with an object in the middle of it, which they can identify. They don’t care what is around the object as long as nothing interferes with the object itself, right in the center. Even after the lessons of Winogrand and Friedlander, they don’t get it. They respect their work because they are told by important institutions that they are important artists, but what they really want to see is a picture with a figure or an object in the middle of it. They want something obvious. The blindness is apparent when someone lets slip the word “snapshot.” Ignorance can always be covered by “snapshot.” The word has never had any meaning. I am at war with the obvious.

Photo by William Eggleston, from The Democratic Forest (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

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