Purple Diary

[July 29 2016] : Art

“Melodrama, Act 1” a group exhibition at Luxembourg and Dayan, London
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“Melodrama, Act 1” a group exhibition at Luxembourg and Dayan, London

On view until August 13th, 2016 at Luxembourg and Dayan,2 Savile Row, London.

Photo Ekaterina Bazhenova

purple fashion magazine
— F/W 2009 issue 12

Memphis Legends

story by RAYMOND J. DUMAS
photographs by WILLIAM EGGLESTON, STANLEY BOOTH and RAYMOND J. DUMAS
WILLIAM EGGLESTON by STANLEY BOOTH

 

WILLIAM EGGLESTON, the legendary American photographer, and STANLEY BOOTH, the chronicler of rock and blues music, have been friends for 40 years. THESE TWO LIVING GIANTS ARE NOW PART OF THE LEGEND OF MEMPHIS, the city of Elvis, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, and Stax Music.

Booth grew up in a turpentine camp in Waycross, Georgia, situated in the middle of the bleak, horrendously hot and humid 700-square-mile Okeefenokee Swamp. When he was 16 he read an interview with Ernest Hemingway that changed his life. Booth regularly wrote for Esquire, Playboy, and Rolling Stone magazines, and he authored The Adventures of the Rolling Stones, about the band’s 1969 tour.

“When I first knew Eggleston,” says Booth, “one occasionally heard the word dilettante used to describe him, simply because one man isn’t supposed to know about music, firearms, sound systems, television set construction, and art. Eggleston’s strict low-key esthetic kept him from becoming a household name overnight.”

Judging from the photos shot in Memphis nights of the ’70s and ’80s, the two friends led an active life. “Bill’s got tons of guns — a .357 Magnum, a 9mm Browning,
a .45 Glock,” Booth told me as we looked at photographs. “The Starlighter is a nightclub from which Eggleston has been banned from ever entering again — when you pull a loaded gun on someone, they have a tendency to get very angry.” For such a smart man, William Eggleston has a curiously whimsical sense of humor: he likes to push buttons, but also pull triggers.

William Eggleston, now nearly 70 years old, seems securely attached to the title “Father of Color Photography.” Maybe the word “color” should be modified by “art” or “artistic,” because of course he didn’t invent the process. There have been those, however, who would deny that Eggleston’s photography has much of anything to do with art. I met Eggleston in Memphis in the early ’60s, shortly after he arrived there from his native Mississippi. He was already reputed to be a “serious” photographer. His progress over the decades, however slow and frustrating it’s seemed at times to him, has been astonishing.
The prince of a matriarchal Southern empire (his mother, two sisters, one wife, and many female admirers), he has moved with assurance

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[July 28 2016] : Art

Francis Alÿs “Ciudad Juárez projects” exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery, London
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Francis Alÿs “Ciudad Juárez projects” exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery, London

On view until August 5th, 2016 at David Zwirner Gallery, 24 Grafton Street, London.

Photo Ekaterina Bazhenova

[July 27 2016] : Art

“Young Adult” at Interstate Projects, New York
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“Young Adult” at Interstate Projects, New York

On view until July 31st at Interstate Projects, 66 Knickerbocker Ave, New York.

Photo Elise Gallant

[July 26 2016] : Art

Giacomo Cosua “I’m not afraid” exhibition at UNION Gallery, London
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Giacomo Cosua “I’m not afraid” exhibition at UNION Gallery, London

On view until August 20th, 2016 at UNION Gallery, 94 Teesdale Street, London.

Photo Ekaterina Bazhenova

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