William EGGLESTON, Greenwood, Mississippi Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America born 1939

Greenwood, Mississippi (1973) prtd 1979 Description: Light bulb in a red room
Place made: United States of America
Materials & Technique: photographs, dye transfer colour photograph

Dimensions: printed image 29.5 h x 45.4 w cm sheet 40.2 h x 50.8 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 80.711

With its intense red, Eggleston’s picture of the spare room in a friend’s home is one of the most iconic of all colour photographs. Often called The red room, this photograph was intended to be shocking: Eggleston described the effect of the colour as like ‘red blood that is wet on the wall’. But the radicalness of the picture is not just in its juicy (and impossible to reproduce) redness; it is also found in the strange view it provides of a domestic interior, one that Eggleston has described as a ‘fly’s eye view’.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra