Former Cock of the Walk Restaurant on Broadway. Natchez, MS. March 2014. T‑Max 400 (quite expired)
This photo is (probably) my favorite from my Rotten series.
In this series I photographed food that would otherwise have been discarded. I produced this work as a play on the traditional still life and a reflection of my own habits.
I became frustrated with the amount of waste leaving my own home. At the same time I was enamored with colors and textures that appeared when food, especially fruit, was left to rot.
By taking lighting cues from the Old Masters and utilizing broken, dried, molded or otherwise unappetizing provisions as subject matter, I juxtaposed some of our traditional presentations of edible beauty with our waste.
This work also speaks to the luxury of my ability to consider the scrapping of food when a great many communities cannot. Our continued refinement of food production enables us to have greater control over appearances until it reaches our home, but afterwards we easily discard that which develops an unpleasant appearance. Even if the food maintains quality, we will quickly dispose of that which looks unappealing. Granted, some of the elements used in this work were literally disgusting, but much of the material could have been eaten or otherwise reused without ill effect.
With this work I explore concepts of what is appealing, succulent and edible while exploring my own standards of that which sustains. This work ventures to bring the focus back to ordinary decay and natural cycles. With the desire for cleaner, newer, brighter, shinier or clearer substance we readily discard that which is still — or even more — beautiful once left to natureâ€™s own processes