WTC (Sunday), 2003 by JoAnn Verburg
Amid all of the sad news about Szarkowski and Hartwell, some might have missed the news that the terrific photographer (and Minnesotan) JoAnn Verburg’s retrospective opened earlier this week at MoMA. Fortunately today’s NY Times has a big profile of JoAnn. There is also an audio slideshow by Philip Gefter.
I recently mentioned my belief that there are book photographers and wall photographers. JoAnn is certainly of the latter group. For this reason, I’m waiting to write more about her work until it comes to the Walker Art Center in Januray. But you can read what I wrote about JoAnn last October here.
Justin James Reed and Karolina Karlic have been selected for the latest edition of Hey, Hot Shot! Just remember, I knew them before they were superstars:
Ronald, 2007, by Alec Soth
What happens when haute couture comes to Minnesota? See my 26-page spread in the current issue (April) of W Magazine.
Would some Wiki-specialist please work on an entry for Minneagraphers. I’m jealous of the Chicagraphers.
A couple of people have written asking to see more from my series At The Bar. I don’t have them all scanned, but here are a few…
The Esquire article mentioned previously doesn’t include one of my favorite nuggets of Nye’s lore. In 1974 Joseph Beuys visited Minneapolis. While dining at Nye’s, he was attracted to a sugar packet illustrated with a rabbit. Beuys went from table to table and into the restaurant’s storeroom collecting sugar packets. The result was this multiple:
Joseph Beuys American Hare Sugar,1974 (edition of 40)
sugar packet, ink stamp
(c)1997 Estate of Joseph Beuys/ARS, NY
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Following a four-month search, Esquire Magazine declares Nye’s Polonaise in Minneapolis the best bar in America. Read the full article here.
In the mid-1990’s I did a series of pictures in bars. I can’t think of a better place than Nye’s:
Cherry (Nye’s Polonaise) 1995 © Alec Soth
Around 1996 I was taking pictures along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul. While walking around Island Station, I saw a young man making a painting on an easel. He told me that he lived on a houseboat on the river. He said it was a cheap way for an artist to live. It seemed so romantic. I was terribly jealous. I told my girlfriend I wanted to live on a houseboat. She said no.
That brief visit always stayed with me. Years later when I started Sleeping by the Mississippi, I though a lot about that artist living on the river. I think it inspired me to make this picture.
I later found out that the artist doing the easel painting was Rob Fischer
. But I don’t think I met Rob again until we both showed in the same room at the 2004 Whitney Biennial
. Last weekend Rob and I were both invited to a softball party
in Franconia, MN. The host of the party owns this picture by me:
And this sculpture by Rob:
Rob is holding his baby girl. She was born on August 9th. Her name is August.
My baby boy was born on August 4th. His name is also August.
What are the odds that they’ll end up married?