Back in October, Alec Soth launched a Kickstarter to provide some funding for his Winnebago Workshops series of trips around the country to provide free workshops to young artists. One of the rewards was this book, Nineteen Teens, and after some hesitation, I jumped on it.
This is maybe the 5th Alec Soth book/object I’ve acquired—From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America, House of Coates, Ping Pong Conversations, LBM Dispatch #7, and Songbook—so Nineteen Teens makes 6.
I should probably lay off a bit…
Nineteen Teens is a fairly simple, straightforward little book, and it’s exactly as described: 19 individual or group portraits of teens, engaged in things teens tend to engage in, at least in my now decades-old experience: pep rallies, kissing, hanging out, participating in school-related stuff, creeping around late at night, etc. There are a variety of posed and unposed, color and black & white, set up and found shots, as is typical of Soth’s work, and overall it’s a solid little set of pictures. And as a bonus, Soth included a 20th picture, a one-off print in a little pocket at the back, of a selfy he took on 4×5 as a teen. Good times.
Mr. Soth’s willingness to provide some of his expertise and advice to some young artists for free is admirable, and I was happy to support it.