18 hours with William Greiner in Baton Rouge

After attending PhotoNOLA, I detoured to Baton Rouge while en route to Mississippi, for a brief sojourn with  one Mr. William Greiner who is no Bill.  He is a very fine photographer, often categorized as one of a triumvirate of southern color people named william: – eggleston, christenberry,  and perhaps that up-and-coming non-william c patterson – but he himself cites Bill Owens as a large influence on his personal photographic development.

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William Greiner at leisure

Wm., for those of you who do not know Wm runs a very fine and sometimes poignant blog of his own. It was from reading his blog that I was reeled in to the W. Greiner orbit, as it is a delightful mix of headline and art and a perfect marriage of words and images – in that they become stronger from the pairing. This is ironic because I often quote one of Wm’s artist statements, “It doesn’t matter what I say, all that matters is what you see. Or his current one, “No explaination (sic) can make a photograph better art.”  I believe this, but I am enjoying well-crafted articulations of work as in Alison Nordstrom’s introduction to Amy Stein‘s new monograph, Domesticated, or unexpected pairings as the titles in Colin Blakely‘s work, Somewhere in Middle America.

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Outside the beautiful State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge

When I let William know I was planning a southern excursion he graciously offered me some high thread count guest accomodations and the chance to find out what motivates the photographer that is Wm Greiner.  After a pleasant evening spent chewing the photographic fat (his wife, Stephanie said, “It’s so nice when your little photo friends come over “- and I adore anyone who uses the diminutive in reference to me, so Peruvian!) we rose early the next AM and William gave me a brief tour of some notable Baton Rouge landmarks including Jim Leming’s parking space at the state capitol building.

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Jim Leming’s parking spot at the beautiful State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge

We also toured the wall of bullet holes of assasinated presidential candidate Huey Long before I enjoyed this photographic body of work:

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Louisianian Politicians in the State Capitol Building

William is a very astute man.  He holds an MBA and sells fine art (not photography though).  In a way he has presupposed the US Government in that he uses his photographs has a post-modern shekl to barter fantastic vacation homes in Telluride, CO.  Now that our quaint dollar is being printed in the zillions, the future devaluation of it will leave us all scratching our heads wondering how we are going to pay for the necessaries.  Look no further than your art, folks.  Follow the man with the MBA.

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Cheesy shooting each other moment.

We made a field trip to his office which is in an office park in Baton Rouge and looks nothing like his photographs.  I got to see some of the prints from his last exhibit at KlompChing Gallery in Brooklyn.  They were beautiful and large and framed in white.

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Entering William Greiner’s office: think what you must, the man is completely sane.

His office is also decorated with lots of old oil paintings and such that is his inventory. You can even use the powder room visit as a viewing opportunity:

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He has beautiful art in his office bathroom and it’s for sale.

But a man must have his passions that inform his art.  Currently, I get the feeling that William and his delightful wife, Stephanie are both obsessed by tennis.  It’s been a long time since I’ve been greeted at the breakfast table in tennis whites, and I think that the Greiners are probably a pair to be reckoned with on-court.  They are very serious tennis players:

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Rivaling his photographic excellence is his prowess on the tennis court.

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