“The Tricycles”

eggleston-weber-tricycle Screen shot 2013-03-12 at 6.54.35 AMThe battle of the Trikes is underway. Eggleston’s trike is his most iconic image and has sold for $578,500.00! Why? The real reason ‘Memphis (Tricycle)’ has come to stand out is because it so clearly typifies the author and the movement he was part of. It’s in the way the scene so aptly illustrates the time period. It’s in the way the photograph finds beauty in the commonplace and turns an everyday object into something iconic. It’s in the way it seems to reveal the feeling of desolation that lurks behind the facade of American suburbia. It’s in the way the photograph documents everyday life from a new perspective and enlarges the mundane to make it special. This single picture could tell you everything you need to know about the art movement it belongs to.

Meanwhile the Weber Tricycle photographed in New York City in 1988 depicts the lack of space in the inner city, where even a small trike has no where to live and is cast aside without mercy, and forced to face the elements on a rusty 19th century fire escape. The broken step suggests imminent danger and adds to the mystery. Even without any knowledge of the Memphis Trike, Weber knew instinctively that he must shoot the trike from beneath, to add to the majesty of the vehicle. All of the lines both horizontal and vertical help depict the frenetic pace of urban life and give the viewer much more to absorb, than a tiny fucking bicycle…

©Matt Weber