Daily Archives: May 17, 2011

The Art of Food Photography

Do you take pictures of your food in restaurants? Or maybe when you’ve made something especially delicious at home, to be able to look back fondly at that one time you cooked?

Edward W. Quigley, "Peas in a Pod" (1935) courtesy Getty.edu

Photography, so instantaneously gratifying, is perhaps best suited to capture the brief moments of an edible dish, from pan to plate. But so often we see it in the context of selling something (ads) or telling us how to do something (recipes) that it’s easy to forget food as a subject allows photographers to challenge their viewers by rendering a familiar object exotic.

Edward W. Quigley was one such artist, working both as a commercial and independent artist in the United States in the 1930s. His 1935 vision of peas is practically abstract, playing with sense of proportion and size.

William Eggleston, "Dinner" courtesy London Food Film Fiesta

William Eggleston is best known as one of the great innovators in color photography. His picture “Dinner” captures a weeknight meal, the pinks and dull greens staring down the viewer. This food is not meant to be appetizing.

Want more? 

If you’re into food on film, check out the Getty Museum’s 2010 show In Focus: Tasteful Pictures, and a write-up of a panel discussing the show. London Food Film Fiesta also has additional artists to check out.