"William Eggleston has an extraordinary, innate ability to render the commonplace compelling. He really does invite us to look afresh at things, especially the banal, random, fleeting, serendipitous, everyday things that he is so systematically and effectively able to metamorphose into memorable pictorial challenges to our senses. His luscious composition (Untitled) Red Dumpster, Orange Building, Memphis (2005) is a telling confirmation of the truism that the beautiful, the uncanny, the exotic, the stimulating and the mysterious are there all around us, hiding in plain view, as it were, until a gifted seer reveals them to us – in this instance through the medium of photography. Eggleston's pictures always have a structural and chromatic logic, yet they seem to obey no evident rules. He works fluidly, intuitively and with no didactic agenda. We are privileged simply to be able to join him for the ride and to delight in the opportunity to share in his intense and peculiar process of looking at, and questioning, the physical world."
The 8: Philippe Garner
What is your line of work?
I am International Head of Photographs and 20th Century Decorative Art and Design at Christie's.
If you were a work of art, which one would you choose?
I would be a wonderfully situated sculpture, perhaps the equestrian portrait statue of Henry IV on the Pont Neuf in Paris, from which I could enjoy the glorious view and the changing seasons and quietly watch the world go by. The less people noticed me, the better.
What is your earliest memory of art?
My very earliest recollection of things artistic is of a person rather than a work of art: a close friend of my mother's, a striking and sophisticated Frenchwoman, who placed a crucial importance that I had never before witnessed on the absolute elegance and refinement of all aspects of her life – her dress, her home and indeed every gesture.
Which museum/foundation would you like to be locked in one night?
My choice is an obvious one. I would be delighted to spend a night in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. So spectacular and varied are the delights that the hours would go by all too fast.