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William Eggleston's dye transfer prints: not dye-ing out

Untitled, 1970-1973; from William Eggleston, Chromes; published by Steidl in 2011.

Mark Giorgione at the ROSEGALLERY, standing next to his favorite piece.

William Eggleston at the ROSEGALLERY opening of his exhibit "New Dyes."

Untitled, 1970-1973; from William Eggleston, Chromes; published by Steidl in 2011.

Untitled, 1970-1973; from William Eggleston, Chromes; published by Steidl in 2011.

Lucas Charbonneay, a photographer, standing next to his favorite piece of the exhibition.

Untitled, 1970-1973; from William Eggleston, Chromes; published by Steidl in 2011.

Molly Toberer, the administrative director for the ROSEGALLERY posing in front of her favorite image of the exhibition.

Topey Schwarzenbach, an architect and avid fan of Eggleston throughout his career, posing with his favorite piece.


"William Eggleston almost seems to be knocked out by colors," Topey Schwarzenbach told KPCC last week at the opening of "New Dyes"

Scwarzenbach, an avid fan of Eggleston, referenced the artist's process of creating dye transfer prints, many of which are currently on display at the ROSEGALLERY located within Bergamot Station. 

The deliberate overbearing white walls that frame each piece comprising the exhibition, starkly contrasts the vivid but understated color composition of the so-called "unseen transparencies" featured.

While the prints were made this year, the method used was "actually started in the 20s and 30s for advertising," Molly Toberer, the administrative director of the gallery explained. "William Eggleston was actually the first fine artist to use it in his fine art photographs," she added.

While the process of creating the works is quite fascinating, it is truly what the process illuminates that captivated at the exhibition's opening reception.  Toberer's favorite work up in the gallery contains one empty and one half-full paper cup atop a car's hood. "I am particularly fond of this because of the odd composition and angle of the car," she said. "It sort of becomes a whole plane of a painting. And its also very minimal, which with color and his use of color, says so little but yet so much at the same time."

Eggleston's efforts to hit you in the face with the purity of color was explained beautifully by Schwarzenbach, who remarked that he believed "Eggleston himself once said, 'being a photographer is like being a game-hunter. You shoot what you see.'" 

Mark Giorgione proudly admitted his favorite was a photograph of a woman driving a classic blue Ford Mustang. He, coincidentally, echoed both Toberer and Schwarzenabch by saying that it was essentially aspects like "the metallic blue" of the muscle car that pull you in to the prints. 

A photographer, Lucas Charbonneay, who was entrapped by the image of the red car, explained that it was "just simply the red car and nothing else," that was so intriguing. 

Charbonneay, Giorgione, Toberer, and Schwarzenbach all were able to appreciate the lucidity of colors that Eggleston has been able to expose throughout his enduring career. The strict lines, exploding primary colors, enigmatic composition, and effortless restraint is what is largely highlighted in the cleanly curated exhibit that will be up for viewing through November 24th. 

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