Until the 1970s, color photography was considered inappropriate for the artwork. Only black and white photographs met the standards of art critics. But then came William Eggleston and showed that color images can have a place in modern art. The colors in Eggleston’s photos are saturated and intense, the characters pose in front of the camera, and traditional ideas about photographic composition are abandoned.
Eggleston is one of the most influential photographers of the latter half of the 20th century, credited with pioneering fine art color photography in his iconic depictions of the American South. Born in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee to a family of well-to-do plantation owners, and grew up in Sumner, Mississippi, most of his photos have been taken in the South, where he splits his time between his wife and family in one house and his mistress in another.