Photographer William Eggleston is known as a pioneer of color photography, and his work has been instrumental in legitimizing the medium as fine art. Taking the everyday as his primary subject matter, he features ordinary people, places, and things in his work, resulting in a slice-of-life portrait of the everyman. Inspired by a variety of artists, from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Andy Warhol, Eggleston uses photography to create portraits that capture the fleeting and captivating moments that take place all around us. Typically photographing his mundane subjects on a large scale, he monumentalizes the seemingly trivial.
Eggleston has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including a landmark 1976 solo show at the Museum of Modern Art that is widely seen as a turning point in the history of contemporary photography, marking the acceptance of what had been previously considered a purely commercial form of photography. From 2008 to 2011, a major retrospective of his work, William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Videos 1961-2008 toured the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Haus der Kunst in Munich, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.