Mystery of the Ordinary captures the full extent of the evolution and legacy of American photographer William Eggleston: From the early black-and-white work of the late 1950s, where we see his discovery and exploration of themes and unconventional cropping, to some of his most iconic color images.
In the beginning of photography, the sky was gray, and both art photography and photojournalism were long dominated by black and white. Although the first universal color slide film hit the market in 1935, it was reserved for the advertising world and as late as the 1980s was still considered commercial, vulgar and inartistic. Despite this, more and more photographers from the 1960s began to discover the new creative possibilities of the medium.
William Eggleston (b. 1939), whose career has spanned five decades, not only contributed significantly to this paradigm shift; he also noticeably influenced many subsequent generations. Along with Saul Leiter, Evelyn Hofer and Stephen Shore, Eggleston was one of the first photographers to recognize the distinctive power of color and its unique ability to create images that constantly challenge the everyday.
Eggleston imbued banality with the uncanny and mysterious: Especially since color is an integral part of human perception, Eggleston examined his immediate surroundings again and again—as if he were somehow suspicious of the contents of his freezer, the ketchup bottle on the dining counter, not to mention the weapons that appear casually in so many of his pictures.
Dimensions: 24 x 30 cm
Pages: 208, hardcover
Author: Felix Hoffmann (ed.)
Publisher: Steidl and c/o Berlin