Alec Soth is a famous photographer who’s art I have been studying in my photo class. This week we’ve been studying portraits, taking them, viewing them, and discussing them. Soth’s work was special to me because portraiture is my favorite form of photography, or at least the one I find myself drawn to the majority of the time. His images each told vastly separate stories and some were posed but they all incorporated shockingly different expressions, but his portrait of a young girl in Tallahassee struck me the most and I wanted to share it with all of you GMC folks out there!
In the photo, a young girl, maybe five or six years old is looking whimsical while laying her head and arm on a restaurant table near a window. Her hair is colored light pink and there is a white lily behind her left ear, bringing out a fairy like essence in her already childish expression. One could say she merely looks tired, or bored, but I think what Soth was trying to capture was a state of young minded thoughtfulness- which we can all understand. The contrasting colors of the pink in her hair and the blue in the tablecloth enhance the whites and off-whites throughout the rest of the photo. The picture is mostly out of focus, except for her eyes and a few wisps of her hair. But it almost seems perfect, because her expression seems equally as mentally unfocused.
There are many houses faded into the blue of the tablecloth, surrounding the girl underneath her face. It poses an idea of being in a busy place and yet thinking of other things, light shining in, enhancing the circuits firing in her brain. Perhaps she is the daughter of Puck in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream. Whether she’s falling asleep or contemplating deep thoughts, this child is perfectly capturing the expression of most young children we see today. What a special photograph!