Alec Soth (born 1969, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States) is an American photographer, notable for “large-scale American projects” featuring the midwestern United States. His photography has a cinematic feel with elements of folklore that hint at a story behind the image. His work tends to focus on the “off-beat, hauntingly banal images of modern America” according to The Guardian art critic Hannah Booth. He is a member of Magnum photo agency.
Soth has had various books of his work published by major publishers as well as self-published through his own Little Brown Mushroom.
Sleeping by the Mississippi (2004)
Alec Soth used the great Mississippi river in a series was made over a period of five years. This brings together Soth’s much more long-standing personal relationship with the river. Like the path of the river itself, the subject matter and style of Soth’s ruthlessly edited series meanders, traversing American cultures, and dips intimately, yet somehow respectfully, in and out of strangers’ lives. The river itself rarely features in the final edit, and allusions to the Mississippi’s industrial and social heritage are subtly suggested.
Read an interview with Soth and see the images at: http://seesawmagazine.com/soth_pages/soth_interview.html
Publications (Wikipedia list)
- Sleeping by the Mississippi. Photographs by Alec Soth, essays by Patricia Hampl and Anne Wilkes Tucker. Göttingen: Steidl, 2004.
- Niagara. Göttingen: Steidl, 2006. ISBN 978-3865212337. Photographs by Alec Soth, essays by Richard Ford and Philip Brookman.
- The Image To Come: How Cinema Inspires Photographers. Göttingen: Steidl, 2007.
- Fashion Magazine. Paris: Magnum, 2007. ISBN 978-2-9524102-1-2.
- Dog Days, Bogotá. Göttingen: Steidl, 2007.
- Sheep. Oakland: TBW Books, 2008.
- Last Days of W. St. Paul, Minnesota: Little Brown Mushroom, 2008.
- Dog Days Bogota. Göttingen: Steidl, 2008. ISBN 978-3-865214-51-5.
- Broken Manual. Göttingen: Steidl, 2010. ISBN 978-3-869301-99-0. With Lester B. Morrison.
- Brighton Picture Hunt. Photographs by Carmen Soth, edited by Alec Soth. Brighton: Photoworks, 2010. ISBN 978-1903796429.
- From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America. Minneapolis, MN: Walker Art Center, 2010. ISBN 978-0-935640-96-0. Catalogue of a retrospective exhibition curated by Siri Engberg. Foreword by Olga Viso; texts by Geoff Dyer, “Riverrun”; Britt Salvesen, “American History”; Barry Schwabsky, “A Wandering Art”; a poem by August Kleinzahler, “Sleeping it off in Rapid City”; and Soth in conversation with Bartholomew Ryan, “Dismantling My Career”. Includes separate book The Loneliest Man in Missouri by Soth, inserted into back cover.
- Ash Wednesday, New Orleans. Kamakura, Japan: Super Labo, 2010.
- One Mississippi. Nazraeli Press, 2010.
- The Auckland Project. Photographs by Soth and John Gossage. Radius Books, 2011.
- Rodarte. Photographs by Soth and Catherine Opie. JRP|Ringier, 2011.
- Postcards From America. Photographs by Soth, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Paolo Pellegrin, Mikhael Subotzky, and Ginger Strand. Magnum, 2011.
- La Belle Dame Sans Merci. Edizioni Punctum, 2011.
- Looking for Love. Berlin: Kominek Bücher, 2012.
- Ping Pong Conversations: Alec Soth with Francesco Zanot. Rome: Contrasto, 2013. ISBN 978-8869654091. Transcripts compiled from conversations between Soth and Zanot, with new and previously published photographs by Soth. Zanot contributes an introduction, “Alec Soth: the Recycling of Photography”.
- Songbook. Göttingen: Steidl, 2015. ISBN 978-1910164020.