Long before food was a network and the telephone a recording device for every morsel you eat, professional photographers owned the realm of food photography and were as compulsive about shooting it as the rest of us.
Feast for the Eyes, a new show at the Photographers’ Gallery in London, explores the history of the genre through 140 images captured by some of photography’s biggest names, including Nan Goldin, Man Ray, Edward Steichen, Wolfgang Tillmans, Nobuyoshi Araki, Cindy Sherman and Stephen Shore.
From Weegee’s 1940 shot of a man greedily devouring a bowl of spaghetti to Jo Ann Callis’ 1994 image of a pie posed on satin-like a pinup girl, food has provided a rich subject for photographers exploring wealth, greed, identity, poverty, sexuality and humor straight from the plate. No doubt that in a few decades, our Instagram feeds will reveal as much about us.
Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography at the Photographers’ Gallery in London runs through February 9. thephotographersgallery.org.uk