In the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut monograph, Sleeping by the Mississippi, Alec Soth turned his attention to another iconic body of water, Niagara Falls.
As with his Mississippi photographs, Soth's Niagara images have less to do with natural wonders than with human desire. “I went to Niagara for the same reason honeymooners and suicide jumpers do,” says Soth, “the unrelenting rumble of the falls just demands great passion.”
Working over the course of two years on the American and Canadian sides of the falls with a large format 8x10 camera, the photographs are rigorously composed and richly detailed. Soth represents naked newlyweds and lovers, motel parking lots and pawnshop wedding rings.
Throughout the book, Soth has interspersed a series of love letters from the subjects he photographed. We read about teenage crushes, workplace adventures, heartbreaks, and suicides. Oscar Wilde wrote of the falls: "The sight of the stupendous waterfall must be one of the first, if not the deepest, disappointments in American married life." In Niagara de Soth, we see both passion and disappointment.
His paintings are a remarkable portrait of modern love and its aftermath. Includes essays by Philip Brookman and Richard Ford.
Hardcover bound in faux leather with pointed image
First edition, second printing.
The signed edition includes an additional image plate signed by the artist and affixed to the inside back cover.