Alec Soth talks to Alex Webb


General Photography

By now, everybody probably knows that Alec Soth has returned to blogging, over at Magnum’s blog. Today, he posted a conversation with Alex Webb about Alex’ work for InSight America.

I found this exchange noteworthy:

Soth: One of the comments to this story was as follows: “I’m sorry you didn’t see some of the beautiful things that I get the opportunity to shoot daily as a multimedia reporter at Youngstown’s newspaper… No shots of my friends and I at the martini bar, no shots of our thriving arts community, no pictures of Mill Creek Park - one of the most beautiful in the country… We’re a very diverse town.” If you are like me, you get this sort of reaction a lot. How do you respond?

Webb: I make no claims that my photographs — or text — are in any way objective. They are a personal interpretation, as is an interpretation of Youngstown as a place of “martini bars”, “a thriving arts community” with a beautiful park. (I do, by the way, agree with the commentator that Mill Creek Park is gorgeous.) What I am consistently struck by in Youngstown is a sense of emptiness, and of nature taking over the city.