The “A Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography” exhibition is filling the walls of the Foam Museum in Amsterdam until 3rd March 2019.
This event takes a multi-faceted look at the history of the representation of food: documentary, artistic, scientific, conceptual and commercial photography. Works by Stephen Shore, Edward Steichen, Martin Parr and Cindy Sherman, among others, allow us to discover a new way of looking at, taking and consuming photographs.
In a three-stage journey - “Still life”, “Around the table” and “Playing with food” - the exhibition explores the way in which food - a subject of commensalism, sharing and entertainment - has been the centre of attention for many artists and photographers.
Food, a timeless subject
More than an artistic genre, culinary photography touches on our history and culture and calls on our senses and emotions. These ordinary organic and lifeless “objects” have always been the occasion for experimenting with different styles, whether they are the realistic still lives of the Renaissance, Dutch scenes of daily life, impressionist pictures or cubist paintings. The advent of photography marks a turning point in the representation of foodstuffs, thanks particularly to the studio which offers a space where a world can be imagined which is as realistic as it is artificial: a means of playing with matter, space and subject.
Reflect of our new lifestyles
Constructed as a symbol of the consumer society by pop art, culinary motifs (foodstuffs or processed products) evoke a new way of life. More so today in the digital world and social networks where the representation of food has become a real sociological, semiological and iconographic phenomenon: the necessity of publicising our lifestyle. This genre calls the attention of both amateurs and professionals, who can use various media as their showcase: social networks, the Internet, publishing, the press or advertisements. More importantly, it is a tool for communication, a feast shared everywhere and with everybody.
By Coral Nieto-Garcia