It’s happened again, another Friday is upon us, quicker than the last one, or so it seems and if you’re like us, a fan of Richard Gray’s column then this is excellent news, as we publish it, every single Friday. Over to you Richard (foreword by Joanne Carter).
"William Eggleston has been described as the world’s greatest photographer. And he has no idea what (or who) Instagram is. He revealed this and a very limited number of other things in a recent interview with an illustrious panel of photographic luminaries published in The Independent.
If you’re a fan of Eggleston’s work you might also be the sort of person who puts on one of Schoenburg’s records and has a jig around the kitchen. Or are first in the queue when your local Odeon is re-running The Sorrow and the Pity. His work isn’t what you’d call chocolate-box. His most famous photo is of a light bulb. Please. There is the tiniest suspicion that people in the world of photography daren’t say anything against him for fear of being ridiculed by their peers. Yes, I get his use of colour within the context of a fine-art photography previously dominated by black and white. Yes, I get his disdain for cliched subjects. And I guess that if you spend enough time studying something, yes, you probably get bored of those chocolate box pictures of quaint cottages or horses running on beaches. If you’re on Instagram you can relate to that right, having clocked up your 1,000th view of a backlit jumpstagram? Just as well he doesn’t know what it is.
It’s the same with those architects. I’m with Prince Charles on this one. The Trellick Tower may be a listed building but does its design perhaps have anything to do with the locals’ nickname for it, Jumpers Tower, owing to the number of people who have, yes, jumped off it? Could its brutal post-modern lines and unrelentingly concrete have something to do with those people wanting to kill themselves?
So maybe I haven’t been looking at photos enough down the years. The thing is most of Eggleston’s photos are just a bit boring to look at. Of course there’s no objective arbiter of photography (and there’s also no accounting for taste) so why do journalists call people like Eggleston the "world’s greatest"? And if he wins a prize we all know that prize organisers will usually have some self-serving reason for their decisions. So why do so many people spend so much time, devote so much energy and write so many articles about his work? Oops there’s another one".
I’m with Prince Charles – ©Richard Gray