About the Photographer
American, b. 1957
William Greiner was born in Louisiana and since the late 1980s has captured the vernacular feeling of his home state in photographs with a saturated color palette. In this respect, Greiner continues a course set out by photographers like William Christenberry and William Eggleston, using the camera to convey an individualized vision of his part of the American South. Similarly, Greiner chooses to photograph primarily where he lives, rather than traveling to find subjects. His photographs uncover significance in ordinary things and suggest a continual process of seeing the familiar with new eyes.
Greiner takes an intuitive approach to his work, pursuing themes and subjects that seem relevant to his life at a given moment. In this manner he explores different aspects of Louisiana's culture while grounding his work in his immediate experience. Yellow Farm Mural (1994) is from the series Homefront, which Greiner began in 1992 after moving into a new house with his wife, and completed 2002. The series is in dialogue, indirectly, with Bill Owens' Suburbia, a seminal photographic survey of suburban living published in the late 1970s. In Homefront Greiner similarly engages with notions of how people express themselves through their possessions and their homes, and in examining his own milieu in the 1990s he provides both an expansion of Owens' investigations and an alternative view.
Greiner holds an associate degree from Bradford College, Bradford, Massachussetts (1980) and a BFA in Photography from Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts (1982). Initially Greiner pursued an interest in sports photography, but after discovering Eggleston's color photographs of Memphis he developed a desire to make pictures reflecting his own sensibilities. Greiner subsequently took what he describes as a detour through corporate America, earning an MBA at Suffolk University in Boston (1985) and working in business. He returned to photography in 1988 and in that year that he began The Reposed, a series of photographs of the crypts and tombstone displays in New Orleans' cemetaries. Greiner lived in New Orleans for 41 years, and collectively his photographs provide a contemporary view of the city up until its devestation by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Following the storm he moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he has begun a new body of work entitled Baton Rouge Blues, which deals with this transition.