Alec Soth's Archived Blog

October 24, 2006

Brawny Soth vs. Bounty Marden

Filed under: goof,media — alecsothblog @ 8:48 pm


Dear New York Times editorial staff, I enthusiastically read your article on Brice Marden’s preference for Bounty paper towels. But I was aghast by this comment by Mr. Marden, “I know Brawny. I don’t like the guy on the package.” Is this some sort of slur against handsomely rugged Midwestern men? I’ll have you know that I too am an artist who, despite living in Minnesota, has a sophisticated family (see above picture) that uses Brawny.

Perhaps Mr. Marden isn’t aware that the Brawny Man has recently had a makeover. As discussed in this article in Slate,

The Brawny Man—previously fair-skinned, with blond hair and green eyes—is now olive-skinned, with brown hair and brown eyes. According to Gino Biondi, Brawny’s director of marketing, this was done for greater appeal to a wide variety of ethnic groups.

I would appreciate if the New York Times would recognize the rich diversity of paper towel options for artists. Sincerely, Alec Soth


  1. Your resemblence to Mr. Brawny the second has nothing to do with this post does it? Huh maybe you should be Mr. Brawny for Halloween, infact I might do that, I just need a flannel shirt.

    Comment by colin loughlin — October 24, 2006 @ 11:09 pm

  2. Dear NY times,
    I do not use Brawny towels but do take offence to your article which does not make mention of Mr. Soth and his common use of Brawny.
    Legend has it that Mr. Soth’s art was in many cases dependant on Brawny’s absorbent powers (from wiping up a Eggleston spill to a makeshift bounce for his strobe lighting).
    If the NYTimes and Brawney know what’s good them, they will see fit that the transformation of their company caricature takes on a more midwestern appeal.

    Comment by Brian Ulrich — October 24, 2006 @ 11:22 pm

  3. […] alec soth – blog photographica, miscellanea, etcetera « Brawny Soth vs. Bounty Marden […]

    Pingback by alec soth - blog » Blog Archive » Art and Fashion Bounty — October 24, 2006 @ 11:30 pm

  4. Dear Mr. Soth,
    I just had to come out and say this. Brawney is no quicker picker upper.
    Have you ever tried to wet it and then hold a pound of oranges?
    I think not. While I rue the passing of the bearded Brawney Man, I can tell you sir that I know Bounty and Brawney is no Bounty!
    Prehaps i am baised.


    Comment by jmgiordano — October 25, 2006 @ 8:00 am

  5. Agree!
    In a world with Viva
    Why would anyone ever use Bounty again?

    I am afraid I did however have to use it as toilet paper this morning – it may be an aplication for which it is better suited

    Comment by Bill Sullivan — October 25, 2006 @ 8:36 am

  6. Dear Alec-
    I am so glad to see that, on top of your other professional accomplishments, you have pioneered the viability of photographers as celebrity endorsers for non-photo-related products. I, myself, have long harbored a dream of being approached to endorse a fragrance. Your endorsement contract with Brawny has shown me that if you really believe, any dream can come true. Thank you, Alec, once again you lead the way.


    Comment by Paul Shambroom — October 25, 2006 @ 12:49 pm

  7. Paul Shambroom, the fragrance of fear,
    Though Rachelle feels you might be better off with something like Swiffer.

    Comment by Brian Ulrich — October 25, 2006 @ 9:55 pm

  8. In the UK, Bounty is advertised by two bearded transvestites. I don’t what this says about either Bounty or the UK. But Alec has a potential partial head start.

    Comment by guybatey — October 26, 2006 @ 6:24 am

  9. I was thinking more of “Obsession”, but I hear it’s been taken.

    Comment by Paul Shambroom — October 26, 2006 @ 9:55 am

  10. […] Dear New York Times editorial staff, I enjoyed reading Roberta Smith’s review of the Marden retrospective last Friday. As you might remember, I also enjoyed reading about Marden’s paper towel preference in last week’s fashion section. But enough is enough. In today’s Art Section I read: “On a bright fall day last month, the artist Brice Marden piloted his black Range Rover across a Hudson River bridge in the kind of late afternoon sun that he cherishes.” The New York Times has the most valuable real estate in arts journalism. Do you really need to use the front page of the Sunday Arts section to profile Marden’s four extravagant residences? (What about mine?) […]

    Pingback by alec soth - blog » Blog Archive » Marden-mania at the Times — October 29, 2006 @ 4:05 pm

  11. My god, I have blindly stumbled upon photo geek nirvana. So many interesting artists so much free time on our hands. Alec, Paul, Brian et al good to see the blog world has ratcheted cultural/higene discussion up one more notch. Your inspired admirer…

    Alec, also good to see your daughter has already perfected her mod-Chelsea artist look. Kudos!

    Comment by Eirik Johnson — October 29, 2006 @ 6:50 pm

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