Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

William C. Hutton, Jr.

Posted in 35mm, black and white, film, photography, Uncategorized by Jason Gray on January 18, 2010

William C. Hutton, Jr. is a St. Louis-based photographer with the unique ability to tell a compelling story with his images. He has been at work since the 1970’s, creating a collection of photographs that he consolidates into series that are determined by where his creative interests lead him. In the time that he has been producing art, the world of photography has experienced massive shifts, which have increased the available subject matter for the photographer exponentially. This is most readily obvious when observing the shift in approach, content and materials between Edward Steichen’s monumental “Family of Man” exhibit (1955) and John Szarkowski’s groundbreaking “New Documents” exhibit (1967), both at the Museum of Modern Art. While “Family of Man” summated the best of documentary photography, in the time since its inception until its primacy as news reportage, “New Documents” revealed the potential of documentary photography to move beyond news reporting (video had largely replaced its importance) and suggested how each photographer might take a unique and expressive approach to the media. It is this later stage of street photography that Mr. Hutton, Jr.’s work fits into, with peers like Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, Diane Arbus (all of the “New Documents” show) and more contemporarily, William Eggleston and Brian Ulrich. William Eggleston is an important artist to mention because it was he who broke open the use of color photography as a viable fine art format, and it was he who almost single-handedly challenged the established canon of acceptable subject matter. What’s remarkable about William C. Hutton, Jr.’s work is that he seems to have produced images that instinctively paralleled the shifts in photography almost as they were happening. Recently, William came into my radar, and I had the chance to conduct a short interview with him. Read it, and see more of Mr. Hutton. Jr.’s work, after the jump.