First let me be specific that my comments are not about Alec Soth in particular but about a general trend I see of extremely boring mundane work. It is nice to hear though that Alec Soth answers emails. He's not the only one who does this.

Doing work that is different, doesn't make it good. It just makes it different. The hard part is being different and good.

Zenrhino you mention that life is composed of a million little mundane moments everyday. That is very true. However maybe it's just me, but I really have no desire to see "a million mundane moments" from someone elses life. I would rather see the exceptional moments. When they succeed or fail, when they experience a challenge, when they find satisfaction or enlightenment. I feel the same way about landscape photos, I don't want to see some scene at it's most common and most disinteresting, I want to see it when the planets have aligned and it is amazing to behold. And that may not even be a scene of excitement but one of serenity and beauty. Can you imagine sitting down and reading a book about a million mundane things in someone's life? Or watching a movie about a million mundane things for 3 hours? I can't, so why is it acceptable in photography?

This million mundane moments thing is just like reality TV. At least they edit out the truly boring stuff and only show the more unusual moments.

If you can take a mudane scene and make it captivating and magnetic, that's something, taking a mundane scene and keeping it mundane is a security camera.


"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"

It's very easy to use that argument. But for every artist that truly is like a Renoir or Picasso, there are 10,000 who use that argument to justify why people don't "get" their work. As for Renoir, Picasso and Monet, their work while being different for their time, still held to the foundations of painting, that is good composition, good color use, a sense of light, good design, and serious visual interest. People may have thought that they didn't understand their work, but they found it interesting to look at. Ray Charles still used rhythm, harmony, composition and his work was stunning to hear, not boring. What did Hemingway write about? Were his works mundane or heroic in their scope?