Charles, Vasa, Minnesota
Alec Soth creates a visual record of America. In his series Sleeping by the Mississippi, he depicts not only the people and places that make up life along the river, but also the shift in culture as the river flows from north to south. Soth presents these photographs as a fragmented narrative, a rambling sequence of images similar to the flow of dream imagery or the currents of the unconscious. With his interest in the representation of the United States and its inhabitants, his portraits express a wide range of feelings, from pride to loneliness and vulnerability.
This image shows a man bundled in workman’s clothes against a bleak rural landscape; he presents model airplanes to the viewer, as if explaining a project. With its implicit references to the iconic American aviator Charles Lindbergh (whose unassuming boyhood bed is shown in another photograph in the group) and to the very idea of America (in the colors and emblematic stars and stripes on one of the planes), the image is both an intimate, personal portrait of a man and his toys and a link to the rest of the series.
- Artist: Alec Soth, American, born 1969
- Medium: Chromogenic photograph
- Dates: 2002
- Dimensions: 50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Signed, numbered, titled and dated on label, verso
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 2004.67
- Edition: Museum print Edition of 5, 2 Artist's proofs, 2 museum prints
- Credit Line: Gift of Yossi Milo and Evan Smoak
- Rights Statement: © Alec Soth
- Caption: Alec Soth (American, born 1969). Charles, Vasa, Minnesota, 2002. Chromogenic photograph, 50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Yossi Milo and Evan Smoak, 2004.67. © Alec Soth
- Record Completeness: Best (84%)