By Doug Rickard
William Eggleston is a “Southern” artist.
Without a deeper explanation, this statement itself could mean a few things. If you look at the body of his work on the whole, the majority of it (almost all) is set within the Southern environs of the US… places like Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Arkansas. Also, he was born in the “South” and still residing there. Surely, that makes him largely “Southern”. Additionally and importantly, you could look at his work as “Southern” from a standpoint of “feel”… the nuances, the point of view, the character.
All of these things are accurate but it even goes deeper than that. William Eggleston can’t actually separate himself from his “South”. The “South” is embedded into him so deeply that it has become something of a stamp or a mark. This embedding is so pronounced that this “Southern” is in a sense woven in to his pictures, whatever the subjects are.