Saturday, December 4, 2010

Alec Soth, Mother and Daughter, Davenport, Iowa, 2002

chromogenic print

Alec Soth was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1969. He is a well known photographer who has had exhibitions all over the world. His work is very contemporary and mostly on a large scale. Through my research of Soth I found he was “ avid traveler, [who] spent five years working his way down the Mississippi River and documenting the places and people he saw with his 8 x 10 camera” ( On this same website they talk about the meaning of Soth’s work and how he expresses “beauty and poverty, anonymity and familiarity, and, above all, individuality and a collective consciousness.” This is really interesting to me because when I first saw the Mother and Daughter photograph of his, the last thought that came to my mind was beauty. I don’t know why but I felt annoyed and discouraged by this piece. Soth is said to capture the “personality of his subjects” and describing issues in a poetic manner.

I believe inside I knew the meaning of Soth’s work even before I researched him, and the meanings he wants to convey through his work; I just don’t think I wanted to believe or pay attention to the meaning because the images leave me feeling displeased. Although isn’t that the truth, while most want to look past the problems and poverty of the world, because we strive to live a perfect life, Alec Soth shows reality and emotion up close in his work for people to see. I now can say I understand his work and have come to really appreciate the his work.


  1. I totally agree. The first time I saw this I thought it was pretty trashy, but now that you explain it I see it in a better light.

  2. I understand what you mean. when I first say this piece, I thought it was rather depressing, But from your research I see that was probably the point of the photograph-to show the beauty of reality.