Time to stand up for our hometown hero.
I stumbeled upon Alec`s website by chance and looked at his photographs and "got it" almost instantly without reading a word. Were are those lengthy essays?
I'll tell you where they are NOT. They are not at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts or the Walker Art Center -- his shots hang with your typical 3 sentence artists bio. And those shots do all the explaining you need.
As to the "banality" of contemporary narrative portraiture, who says that life is always "interesting?" Who says that great shots always have to capture some magical definitive moment? Life doesn't have to be about that one image that makes your soul sing, it can be about the million little mundane moments every day. It's about lunch at the kitchen table instead of Thanksgiving dinner.
So Alec has the cojones to cut across the grain and show you shots of unattractive people looking perfectly normal in shots that make you think you could be there right next to him. I say damn right. Give me 1 of Alec (who by the way, has taken the time to answer an email or two about his work, speaks at MCAD and MnCP -- and not just to sell his latest work, and goes a long way to not be an "artiste") instead of 1000 HCB or AA clones.
Don't like his stuff? Perfectly fine. People turned their noses up at Renoir and Monet, too. People thought Picasso was f'n nuts. People thought Ray Charles was blasphemous and thought Hemingway couldn't write his way out of a sack. No accounting for taste.
If you're doing the counterpoint work to Alec's, rock the F on because every Next Big Thing needs a Next Next Big Thing. I hope you get hung at the MIA and the Walker and the MOMA, Guggenheim, etc right next to his stuff. But if all you're doing is saying "that sucks -- this other stuff rocks!" then what's the point of the commentary?