The Food Landscapes of Laura Miner's Photography [food art]


Laura Miner, "Twinkie," 2009, Photos by permission.

Boston-based artist Laura Miner photographs our most glutinous, mass-produced, and sugary indulgences, creating new and undiscovered perspectives. Using items such as Twinkies and Snowballs, Miner photographs the desserts as they were "assaulted and left to rot." Other work by the artist, such as her food landscape photos, are intended to "capture the geographic essence in the textures and colors of various food items," creating a whole new way to look at food. We talked to Laura about her process.

"This project I titled Viscid (meaning glutinous and sticky) began my senior year at Massachusetts College of Art and Design," Miner told Eat Me Daily, explaining that it was about "taking snack cakes and making them at once beautiful and disgusting, drawing on emotions experienced collectively by our culture." To create the jarring contextual juxtaposition, Miner photographed the Twinkies, Snowballs, and other snack cakes positioned on tabletop sets strewn with dirt and fake plant life. In case it wasn't clear, these are scenes of death: "Each cake is depicted as a victim of some kind of serial killer of desserts," said Miner, "someone who desires the cakes but cannot bear the shame of consuming them. [The cakes] are left beaten and unfinished, yet their seductiveness is ever present."

There's more to it than just the allure of a snack cake serial killer, though: Miner told us that "I wanted to expose the guilty pleasure of eating in a way that would make the audience face their feelings about junk food." She's found over the years that one of the most effective ways to get an emotional reaction from her audience is to incorporate food in some way, and she theorizes that "food runs a fine line between making people feel pleasure and disgust. There are always foods people strongly love or hate for one reason or another, and that is what truly fuels this project.


Laura Miner, "Untitled," 2008, Photos by permission.


Laura Miner, "Untitled," 2008, Photos by permission.


Laura Miner, "Zinger," 2009, Photos by permission.


Laura Miner, "Table Talk," 2008, Photos by permission.


Laura Miner, "Snowball," 2008, Photos by permission.


Laura Miner, "Nedelin," 2008, Photos by permission.


Laura Miner, "Cupcake," 2008, Photos by permission.

Prints of Miners work are available for sale by contacting her through her website.

-Michelle Mettler

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