A ‘feast’ for the eyes: Exhibit showcases best food photography

A ‘feast’ for the eyes: Exhibit showcases best food photography
Photo by Joel Sheakoski

Feast your hungry eyes on 65 mouth-watering morsels of food photography at the “Feast Your Eyes” exhibition at the powerHouse Arena, opening Jan. 6. The delectable group show is part of the New York Photo Festival, and features food-related works shot by a mix of renowned and amateur photographers, to create a delicious display of images that pay homage to anything and everything that provides us with sustenance.

“Food is a comfort thing — it’s creativity and comfort in the same locale,” said David Shelley, the show’s producer and the production manager for the New York Photo Festival. “It’s fascinating to see what it means to different people — from raw meat hanging in a marketplace to someone shooting a plate of food like a painting, a piece of art.”

Indeed, the show offers a tremendously diverse roster of images, including a plate of different types of potatoes sliced in half, by professional food photographer Beth Galton (whose resume includes print advertisements for McDonald’s, Stouffer’s ready-made dinners, and Lay’s potato chips, among others); an array of kitchen utensils shot by sports photographer Matthew Aron Roth; and three images from open-air food markets from around the world, taken as part of a multi-year project by photojournalist Charlie Grosso.

“I love the organic quality found in food’s different forms,” Galton said. “I find it both sensuous and authentic; I also came to shoot food because of the nurturing aspects of what food represents — a way to nourish and show care — and a food photograph can convey these feelings.”

Grosso’s interest of food, on the other hand, is triggered by the cultural implications of how, and what, we eat.

“Potato Test”
Photo by Beth Galton

“It’s a look on culture and society and how we function,” said Grosso. “It’s about the overall project is about the cost of living.”

The photographs displayed are among more than 600 submitted, each chosen by a panel of judges that included Jon Chonko, author of “Scanwiches”; Bon Appetit Magazine Photo Editor Alex Pollack; London Photo Festival Director and Founder Brett Jefferson Stott; New York Photo Festival Director Sam Barzilay; and Athens Photo Festival Director Manolis Moresopoulos.

“Food is something that connects us to every single person on the planet — everyone has to eat,” Shelley said. “And everyone can try and stumble their way through cooking. After all, staying home is the new going out.”

Maybe so, but don’t sit this one out — it might just inspire you to pump the breaks on the takeout and experiment in your own kitchen.

“Feast Your Eyes” group show at powerHouse Arena [37 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 666-3049]. Free, Jan. 6-Jan. 28. For info, visit www.newyorkphotofestival.com.

Photo by Elinor Carucci

Reach Arts Editor Juliet Linderman at jlinderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8309.