November 3rd, 2016
Tania Franco Klein’s Homage to William Eggleston
In advance of “Dear Bill,” Aperture Foundation’s 2016 Benefit Party honoring William Eggleston, Aperture asked photographers to submit their Eggleston-inspired images through the Instagram hashtag #aperturedearbill. Chris Boot, executive director of Aperture Foundation, chose the winner.
We ran a little competition on Instagram, prompting people to post pictures that bore some inspired relationship to the work of William Eggleston. The winner, who I got to choose, received a pair of tickets to our benefit party on October 24, 2016.
I chose a strong self-portrait by—it turns out—a young Mexican photographer, Tania Franco Klein. Tania recently finished her Masters in Photography at the University of the Arts in London, and prior to that she earned a BA in Architecture in Mexico City. I thought no more of it, didn’t worry to check where she might be based, but Tania traveled to New York all the way from Mexico City. She came up to me to introduce herself in the course of the evening, with her mum, so happy to be there, and having the time of her life. Her face was one of the highlights for me of our benefit party!
We invited her in to Aperture to show us what she is up to. The series she had in her bag was striking and surreal. Called Pest Control, what would have been decent photographs of banal scenes of daily life—people in line at the post office line; a seat on a train; the reception desk at a seedy hotel—she has made strange and surprising by installing pigeon repellent spikes, as if a fashion accessory, or decorative detail. At some level, the series is a photographic response to the prevalence of pigeons in modern cities—and the pigeon spikes—and these photographs are a simple delight. —Chris Boot