Alec Soth: Man on the edge

  • Article by: MARY ABBE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 10, 2010 - 10:53 AM

The internationally famed, Minneapolis-based photographer takes a dark tour of America in a Walker Art Center show.

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sophix18Sep. 10, 10 9:03 AM

Mr Soth has a knack for catagorizing people in ways that make them look odd and exotic. Too much of his photography is just arty photojournalism mocking people of certain incomes and social castes. He even paid off people to take their nude photos. He's just too manipulative and a little too pervy for my tastes. Other than a Minnesota address, commercial success and a now old Whitney Bieannial, I don't understand why the WAC put upthis show.

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artdadioSep. 10, 1010:51 AM

I don't know Soth from Goth but I can give the guy a break. He is presenting contemporary issues in our society with more than a bit of thought and compassion. The fact the he may have paid a model is a silly critique. and as far as "pervy" goes he doesn't come anywhere close to art heros like Jeff Koons, a bona fide pornographer. The only complaint I have with Mary Abbe's gushing profile is that she leaves the historical referance to previous photographers like, Wing Young Huie, Ray Muxter, Richard Avadon, and many others out of the mix. Good for the home boy, Party on dude.

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sophix18Sep. 10, 1011:31 AM

Artdadio,yeah, the act of paying someone on the skids to undress and lounge around in a sad looking motel room is probably a "silly" basis to judge a picture. To me, it just seems exploitative and even "pervy". Ray Muxter's and Richard Avedon's photographs show all kinds of "thought and compassion". In spite of Mr. Soth's intentions, his photos are simply not that good. Sorry to dislike the homer.

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mikemn59Sep. 10, 1012:05 PM

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts had a small showing of his work this past year and I marveled at Mr. Soth's talent and depressed that I could never rise to his remarkable artistic skill. I look forward to seeing this show. And if you are at all interested in photography, this show is a 'must see'.

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misery36028Sep. 10, 10 1:50 PM

As much as I love the Walker, I agree with sophix18. He's just another rich kid with the opportunity to indulge himself and his fantasies.

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gre456Sep. 10, 10 3:21 PM

"another rich kid..." based on what? Did you miss this sentence..."Trained in traditional darkroom techniques, he couldn't afford to work in color until he won a McKnight Photography fellowship in 1999." I guess it's back to your "dark room" and more misery...

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