Early this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to check out the William Eggleston Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery for a special night’s preview hosted by Rumour PR and Pop Boutique (thanks for the kind invitation!). The night included a private guided tour of the exhibit, check out the gallery’s 70s-inspired products as well as rummage through Pop Boutique’s pop-up store of vintage clothes and homeware, while sipping cocktails or fizz.
If like me, you haven’t really heard of William Eggleston, some of you may recognise a few of his iconic images (see below). Eggleston was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1939 to a family who had been cotton farmers. At a time where colour photography was predominantly used in advertising and other commercial uses, Eggleston was known for experimenting with colour as an artistic medium, particularly the complex ‘dye transfer’ techniques. He found a way to inject life, evoke moods, and set an atmosphere by banishing the staleness in the everyday and ordinary. And it’s this viewpoint of his that changed/influenced the art of colour photography.
The exhibition gives you a look into the world he captured back in the 70s, in hometown Memphis, the South, ranging from portraits of his family and friends to celebrities and strangers in dark nightclub settings. What I loved most this exhibition is the lack of description or blurb behind each of his work – there’s no political agenda or story to his subject matter which you typically find behind a lot of photography and art in general. You are simply left to observe, fully immerse and appreciate how wonderfully each of his muse are captured in such simplicity yet so vivid it leaves you wanting to know more about them or what life was like back then….
Anyway, if you guys are in London, I would totally recommend checking the exhibition out, which is on till the 23rd of October and includes a lot of the photographer’s unseen work too. Here’s a little peek of what you’ll expect (photographs, courtesy of Victoria Miller) but it really is NOTHING unless you see it up close and personal! Probably would be worth checking out the book too which you can buy at the gallery bookshop or online.
‘I want to make a picture that could stand on its own, regardless of what it was a picture of. I’ve never been a bit interested in the fact that this was a picture of a blues musician or a street corner or something.’ – William Eggleston
[All gallery/exhibit images above: ©Victoria Miller]
Oh and here’s a few pics from later that evening, after our little guided tour, rummaging through all the gorgeous 70s collection of fashion, accessories and homeware, courtesy of Pop Boutique which totally help set the mood for the night. Greet to see some old friends and meet some new ones too.
Thanks again to Rumour PR, Pop Boutique and the National Portrait Museum for a delightful evening!
[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu & Daisy Fay Interiors]