March 8, 2010 Meeting
From Lens to Hands: Visual Representations of Food
This panel, organized by the Experimental Cuisine Collective as part of the Umami Food and Art Festival, explores how artists, photographs, designers, and cooks use food in their creative work, based on their specific approach. Panelists Emilie Baltz, Corin Hewitt, Brian Sullivan, Michael Harlan Turkell, and Jason Wright will begin by each discussing the function of visual representation and how they address it based on their purpose (aesthetic, communicative, performative, etc.), touching on notions such as the role played by their desired or expected audience and considerations given to the potential commercial value of their work. Fabio Parasecoli will then moderate a general conversation among them, further interrogating some of the themes that emerged from their initial comments. In the third part of the panel, the conversation will be expanded to the audience.
Emilie Baltz is a French-American photographer-designer-creative-artist. She believes food to be the most revealing part of culture and works in multiple mediums, both commercially and artistically, to explore that notion in the most robust way possible. Working between France and the United States, her work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Oxford University Press, Montagud Editores, Time Out, Wired, Contract, Traditional Home, Vogue, and the Museum of Art and Design, amongst others. Baltz is the first female photographer to be featured in both debut issues of the English version of Apicius, one of the premiere food magazines in the world. Baltz has developed brand identities and photographed numerous James Beard Award-winning chefs as well as major corporations. Notable design work includes partnering with Limoges porcelain for a line of limited edition fine-bone china plates and demitasses as well as continuing a relationship with Baccarat Crystal in Paris. Stateside, Baltz is represented by Max Lang Gallery in New York City and is the creator of the first gilt Amish picnic table. She successfully pitched and developed Picnick, the premiere sustainable food kiosk in the New York Parks Department, and recently designed the winning bid for the new food concession at Bethesda Fountain in Central Park. She is a founder and principal partner in Fork&Design, a New York-based consultancy that creates visual communication solutions for the food and hospitality industry.
Corin Hewitt combines the sculptural and the theatrical with the photographic and the performative. Using a variety of processes from casting, photography, and cooking, to model making, the breadth of his work ranges from a monumental cast rainbow made of street sweepings to intimate indoor performances using photography to explore material process. Corin graduated from Oberlin College and attended both the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kunste, Karlsruhe (Germany) and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine before receiving his MFA from Milton Avery School of the Arts at Bard College. He has exhibited widely throughout the United States and Europe. In the past two years, he has had two solo exhibitions in two U.S. museums. For three months in the fall of 2008 he had a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art entitled Seed Stage. Corin also recently closed an exhibition of 75 photographs at the Seattle Museum of Art that ran through the summer and fall of 2009. His previous three solo exhibitions were with Taxter & Spengemann Gallery in New York in 2005 and 2007 and with Small A Projects in Portland, Oregon in 2007. Within that time he has been included in nine exhibits throughout the world. His work is also held in a wide variety of public collections including the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo, Norway and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Corin has a new project opening up at Western Bridge in Seattle, Washington in late March and a show of new sculpture at Taxter and Spengemann gallery in fall 2010.
Fabio Parasecoli lives in Rome and New York City. His research focuses on the intersections among food, media, and politics. He is academic director at Gustolab, a center for food and culture in Rome. He also teaches in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and collaborates with other institutions among which are University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, Hohenheim University in Stuttgart, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona, and the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Colorno and Pollenzo, Italy, where he is Visiting Professor. Among his recent publications: Food Culture in Italy (2004), the introduction to Culinary Cultures in Europe (The Council of Europe, 2005) and Bite me! Food and Pop Culture (2008). He is on the advisory board of Citta’ Slow and of the journal Food Culture & Society and was president of ASFS (Association for the Study of Food and Society). His current research focuses on food and masculinity in movies and on the socio-political aspects of geographical indications.
Brian Sullivan grew up between southwest Michigan and the suburbs of Chicago. His mother’s Italian-American family background instilled a strong, subconscious culture in food that would serve as a means of pleasure and in later years a driving passion. Always creative and artistic as a youth, his natural path was to pursue a degree in industrial design at the University of Michigan, and practice his profession in many varying genres of design. Perhaps the most important piece of advice that shifted Brian’s thinking came from Ahmed Riaz: “industrial design is not a profession, it’s a way of thinking”; such a simple reflection on an industry but a revolutionary thought spurred Brian to apply the way he approaches design to the way he thinks towards food. It then became the ambition to combine his passions for food and design in every aspect; from service pieces and menu graphics to dish creation, interactive dining experiences, and kitchen ergonomics. After rapid culinary self-instruction, the next pursuit was total immersion into the food world by working for some of the best: Chef Will Goldfarb of Picnick, Del Posto, and Corton under the training of Starchefs 2009 Rising Star, Executive Pastry Chef Robert Truitt. Brian lives in New York City with his supportive girlfriend Hope and her son Josh, who are often an excited audience of guinea pigs to his developing approach, to the convergence of food and design.
Michael Harlan Turkell
Michael Harlan Turkell is a freelance photographer and free-time chef who used to cook in restaurants, and now photographs the inner workings of kitchens, for his award winning “Back of the House” project, documenting an unseen version of the lives of chefs and the restaurant world. Michael was selected for 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers V2, published by powerHouse Books in spring 2008. He has received a Photo District News Photo Annual Award, and has had work published in an array of magazines, online sources, and shown in many galleries and public spaces. A graduate of the Art Institute of Boston, he presently resides in Brooklyn.
Jason Wright is a New York-based designer and artist who develops creative and practical solutions for clients worldwide. With over 13 years of experience in advertising, graphic design, and web development, Jason combines the versatility of a big design agency with the personal attention of a small design boutique. Holding a master’s degree in Art from Pratt Institute and a bachelor’s degree from Emory University, Jason began his career in advertising creating campaigns for such companies as Papa John’s Pizza and Coca-Cola. He later decided to open his own shop in New York to cultivate a diverse client base and offer them a multifaceted approach to design. Jason’s work includes sites for Oscar-nominated and award-winning films, design and advertisements for large companies such as CNN and Target, as well as countless identities and other design work for his clients ranging from restaurants, top fashion designers, musicians, architects, artists, and television personalities. Jason is the co-founder of Fork&Design, a consultancy focused on creating communication solutions for the food and hospitality industry.