It all started with a project I did last year called “Forbidden Foods” that project made a statement on those foods that we love, that aren’t good for us, but that we can’t live without. It has now morphed into what I call “What are you Eating?” a food photography project about what is in our foods. This project seeks to portray in a playful way that there are ingredients in our food that we are unaware of and that can ultimately cause harm. Regulations for food labeling are under debate and even when an ingredient is listed in the food do we actually know what it is and what it can do to our bodies? Is ignorance really bliss? This project is intended to make people stop and think and make them realize that they may not be aware of everything that is in their food.
In this food photography project every food photo is a diptych. The first image is the one that entices and draws the viewer in. In that first image the food will be delicious and appealing – beautiful and crave-able. This is the image we can admire and that will make the viewer want to taste the food. Perhaps it will bring up childhood memories or fun associations or just remind us of how much we enjoy this food.
By contrast, the second image is where the food becomes questionable. The still life setting is a mock lab with a plain white background. There are lab tools that make the viewer question what goes into the food. Are there colorings, chemicals, pesticides in what I am eating? What will these mystery ingredients do? What am I really eating when I eat this? Is it made in a way that involves cruelty or that damages the environment? There is an element of fantasy in the lab images as not all ingredients in this food photography project are 100% real and what is actually in the food. In order to have a stronger reaction from the viewer there will sometimes be surprise ingredients such as packing peanuts and plastic beads.
Brilliant Blue is the first image in the series.