William Eggleston’s World

It’s well documented that photographer William Eggleston‘s first solo show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1976 was widely derided by an art world entrenched in fondness for photos in black and white: “It didn’t bother me at all,” Eggleston told STOP SMILING in a 2006 interview, “I didn’t really care; I just kept doing my work; I had friends and supporters.” The triumphant result of Eggleston’s indifference to criticism — 30 years of stunning color pictures that have created an American iconography that is unique, dark and dazzling all at once — is now on display at the Whitney Museum in New York. “Democratic Camera,” Eggleston’s second-ever solo show, includes his famous and more obscure color photographs, his early black-and-white work that served as its precursor and Stranded in Canton, a baffling video portrait of the Seventies American South. Photographer and STOP SMILING editor-at-large Dan Winters interviewed and photographed Eggleston for our Photography Issue, released in 2007.