Wednesday, January 07, 2009

I Heart William Eggleston

(…or more precisely, I heart his photographs. Having never met the man, I can claim no personal affection for him.)

I have a confession: Museums make me sleepy. Certainly, they're well and good and very important for the cultural edu-ma-cation. But after some critical duration, I find myself slipping into an information-overloaded stupor and stifling yawns as I stare, glassy-eyed, at this or that world-famous masterpiece.

But there are exceptions: While in The Big City, we went and saw the William Eggleston retrospective at the Whitney, and I was wide awake the entire time. (It was our sole foray into high-culthcha—and really, Eggleston is pretty low-down as far as high-cultcha goes. The rest of the time we were too busy gorging ourselves on the city's gastronomical delights.)

Eggleston is my favoritest-favorite phographer.* Years back, when I first encountered his pictures, my brain popped: "Oh, these are the photos I wish I was taking!" Since then, I've amassed a stack of his books. But walking through room after room of the originals in their full scale, color, and glory was just… meow, purr, b-boom!

After making our full, careful, enchanted circuit, we swiftly whisked our way out of the building, deliberately bypassing the Whitney's many other treasures, and successfully emerged on the street, fully invigorated and not the least bit slumbrous (with my camera finger itching).

Then we hopped on the nearest train down to Chinatown to stuff our bellies full of Dim Sum...

* I am a man of few favorites, being a waffler by nature ("well, I like such-and-such in regards to such-and-such-thing and such-and-such-other in regards to such-and-such-other-thing…"), but there are exceptions: favorite photographer—William Eggleston; favorite color—green; favorite number—twenty-one. (It's three times seven, baby. Three and seven are each profoundly primal, lovely numbers in their own right, and their product is a mysterious compounding of loveliness.)

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