Leg of Lamb’s copy of the first issue of Lonely Boy Magazine arrived last week. Created by Alec Soth and printed and distributed by his publishing company Little Brown Mushroom, Midwestern Exotica features Starling, a photostory by Soth, fiction by Jindřich Štyrsk, a poem by, ahem, ‘Humber Humbert’ and an entertaining collection of ex-girlfriend snaps (mostly polaroids) provided by the staff of Little Brown Mushroom. These are intimate shots made public, and the saucy collection of exes make for gleefully voyeuristic viewing (that in subject matter and ‘rephotography’ also recall Richard Prince’s Girlfriends series).
In contrast, Soth’s photographs convey a different kind of intimacy. Some of his images are remarkably tender. His documentation of a small bird is the moving conclusion to an unusual photostory that weaves through gothic dating sites and bedroom portraits to an unfurnished room in Minnesota containing men in various states of undress. These seemingly disparate scenarios are drawn together by a subtle sense of melancholy. So despite the familiar format and sometimes explicit content, Lonely Boy Magazine transcends the conventions of the stick mag, offering a form of ‘erotic publishing’ that elegantly explores some of the subtleties of masculinity.
You can buy a copy of Midwestern Exotica, along with the recently released second issue Boys and their Cars here.