Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

February 22, 2008

Matt Alofs

Filed under: Photography — Doug Stockdale @ 4:35 pm

Matt Alofs landscape

Photograph is copyright of the artist; Matt Alofs

In discussing my interest in the photographic images of Matt Alofs, it is only fair that I disclose that he is also a co-member of Stills with me, but I don’t think that this changes my interest in Matt’s work;- )

Matt’s work centers mostly on two distinct bodies of work, his Black & White urban landscapes and the image of his partner, Kate. Both remind me a lot of another Midwest photographer, Harry Callahan (1912-1999), who had two similar bodies of work, Black & White urban landscapes and images of his wife and muse, Eleanore.

This is not to say that I believe that Matt is trying to walk in Callahan’s shoes. Matt’s urban landscapes and portrait’s have a very unique look and character, abet with what I might call a Midwest locality (when you live in the Midwest, you photograph the Midwest!) although he and Kate are very well traveled and have lived outside the US. It’s just that his current landscape images reflect that he is going ‘deep’ as where he is.

Matt - Kate

Kate by Matt Alofs, copyright of the artist

My primary interest in Matt’s photographs are his urban landscape images, but I have also grown to appreciate his ongoing series about Kate. His images of her work well as singular images, but collectively they provide wonderful glimpse of a real person and indirectly, a story about a relationship. Many of the images of Kate are direct and unflinching, you can almost sense the connection between the two.

Best regards, Doug


  1. Doug, thanks for the kind words.

    Before I came across the work of Harry Callahan sometime last year, I had been struggling with having these two separate threads in my work, both of which I take seriously. After seeing his body of work I came to realize that the landscapes and the pictures from my life with Kate are intricately linked and necessary to each other.

    One of the questions that remains is how to present those two threads in the world beyond the blog. Will people buy a book that includes both kinds of pictures? Would a gallery hang a show of them? As far as I know, there isn’t a great model for distributing this kind of dual threaded work. It seems like all the various threads of an artists work are often first presented together in the postmortem retrospective. I’d rather not wait till I’m dead!

    Comment by Matt — February 22, 2008 @ 7:51 pm

  2. I think I’ve got just about the whole “Stills” gang in my feed thingumy. Great diversity of work and thoughtful discussion all round.

    I always think that Kate has an expression of patient good-humour. It’s as she considers constantly having Matt point the at her is one of his lovable, yet quirky, personality traits.

    I’m not sure many people would accept such constant attention with such good grace.

    Comment by Martin Doonan — February 22, 2008 @ 8:50 pm

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