I discovered the work of Alec Soth in Paris while pondering around in a quaint bookstore. In a very Diane Arbus – Walker Evans way, his pictures have a chemistry and a certain awkwardness to them that struck me instantly.
His newly published book Looking For Love, 1996 is based on some of the first photographs Alec took in suburban Minnesota where he grew up. At the time he was working at a commercial printing facility where he would print customer’s photographs and find spare time to work on his own prints, which he would then escape with at night, wrapping them around his legs underneath his trousers.
For some reason – maybe I liked the loneliness of the title and the images – I couldn’t put the book down. The irony also lies in the fact that you can hardly ever look for love, it’s more likely to find you when you least expect it.
The above is actually a picture of Alec on his wedding night….
And here’s a great interview with Alec that’s worth a read.
As he says “Photography is a very lonely medium. There’s a kind of beautiful loneliness in voyeurism. And that’s why I’m a photographer.”
That’s why I’m a writer too.