Mike Sinclair


Not long ago I mentioned the Kansas City based photographer Mike Sinclair. I have enjoyed viewing his work for several years. He is one of many exciting photographers living and working in the Midwest. Mike recently updated his website with new work. I recommend that everyone revisit both his commercial and personal projects.

  1. sebastianwolfe said:

    Hm… interesting stuff. I mean I guess it kind of reflects the pointlessness of middle class existence.

  2. Scott said:

    I disagree. I think it reflects the very point of middle class existence. This image is lifeless and empty yes…. but could it possibly be for a good reason? I like to think that the moment this photo was taken the patrons of the lot were home enjoying their familes and friends. Had the image been taken a day or two earlier it could have been full of parents and their children eager with anticipation. Think outside the image!! Everything is not negative.

  3. sebastianwolfe said:

    Acknowledging pointlessness in a form of life is negative? Is it negative to say its raining today? Or is it a fact? Hmmm…

    Also to clarify I wasn’t talking about the image being lifeless or empty, you read what you wanted to read there Scott. What I am referring to is the pointlessness of exactly what you fill in here… life as a chain of inane “parties” and gatherings where everyone vies for attention and attempts to fabricate (used in the same way as one might say I fabricate a chair) “family memories”. Good times, warm feelings and down home happiness. In other words a life that does not adhere to any higher principles or any striving for anything particularly lasting or noble. Is that negative?

    Well I suppose for some it would be. For others apparently it’s perfectly fine. It does make me wonder though, if it is perfectly fine why so many people become defensive about it 🙂

    I agree Scott try thinking outside the image, try even going beyond the party and thinking about the socio-philosophical importance of things. Good luck with that 🙂

    Also I enjoy the image. It captures suburbia and middle class existence perfectly.

  4. Scott said:

    No not acknowledging……assuming pointlessness in a form of life lived by nearly 50% of the American population, the majority of whom it is safe to say you have never met, is negative. I like the rain analogy! Let’s expand on it. Your statement about it raining would be a fact; however, would it be a fact if I stated that rain was “pointless?” Obviously not! Surly you agree rain has a purpose? Rain can also have both negative and positive consequences (HINT: Just like the middle class). Had you stated that the image reflected the negativity of Middle Class life I would never have responded? Instead, you stated that it is “pointless.”

    Ah……socio-philosophical! Let me take a guess at what would make the image less “pointless” in your view. Perhaps if a sign stated “state owned Christmas tree farm” with little serf children with dirty hands and faces scurrying about, you would find something more “noble” in the picture. Maybe if the big “middle class” house in the background were replaced by a giant bland apartment building with a statue of the “international worker” in front, it would be more to your socio-philosophical liking. I think someone tried that! Hmmmmm…… I wonder what happened to them????

    The beginning of my initial response stated “I disagree.” Generally that means that I value your opinion, but have a different one. Not that you are wrong. Opinions are generally respected in the academic world; however, seeing how Stalin, Mao, and Castro were, or are not generally open to dissenting opinions, I can understand why you took such offense to my different view. Art is about interpretation. Whether the medium is photography, music, or paintings, people generally see and hear different things. If this were a music blog and you stated that Rage against the Machine’s “Sleep Now in the Fire” was pointless and I countered that it actually had great meaning to me, would you attack me? Are you views always right? Wow…..if so you must be really rich. No wonder you look down on the middle class. Or….just maybe you are regurgitating something one of your professors said that you really don’t understand. Do you believe the state should officially interpret all works of art?

    Perhaps you should expand your study of philosophy a little beyond Marx and Hegel. Last time I checked there were several “socio-philosophical” traditions in which the very purpose of life was the pursuit of what you would consider lacking “any higher principles or any striving for anything particularly lasting or noble.” Let’s see here…. there is Cyrenaicism, Epicureanism, and……..oh yeah HEDONISM. Hmmmmmmmmm. Of course I don’t believe the middle class subscribes to any of these schools of thought. I just wanted to point out the ridiculousness of your “socio-philosophical” argument. Maybe we should view the image from an economic or political context. Is the middle class “pointless” in regards to the American economy or political system? Obviously not.

    Here’s the bottom line. Your statement, “Is that negative? Well I suppose for some it would be. For others apparently it’s perfectly fine,” is the only one that makes sense. What may be ignoble or lacking in principal to you may mean something else to other people. I am by no means a defender of capitalism or the middle class; however, I am a defender of reason. To state that something is unequivocally “pointless” is arrogant and goes against every principal of reason.

    I apologize to the host of this exceptional photoblog; however, I felt compelled to respond to what I viewed to be an unreasonably worded attack on my opinion of this image. Feel free to remove my comments if you feel they disrupt from your blog’s purpose.

    P.S. I never said you thought the image was “lifeless or empty.” That is how I (yes there are other people in the world) view the image.

  5. sebastianwolfe said:

    Marx and Hegel? 🙂 Very good, Scott. Well thanks for your clarification, I can tell you spent some thought on it. That’s nice.

    “To state that something is unequivocally “pointless” is arrogant and goes against every principal of reason.”

    🙂 Would you like to thrill me with your recitation of Hume, Kant or other 100 plus year old works that you encountered on the topic of reason in your intro classes 🙂 or your private used book store readings 🙂

    I guess a bigger question is this 🙂 why would such a response bother you so much? What do you have invested in the “middle” class or even in random internet blog comments 🙂

    At least we agree on one point, this is a fantastic blog… but Scott does that make you arrogant? unequivocally declaring this blog good? Hmmm what is good anyway… 🙂

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