Martin Parr believes there’s truth behind the whole “you are what you eat” idea. “You can tell a lot about society, who we are and what we like doing, by looking at the food we eat,” he told Bloomberg recently. “As a subject matter, it’s quite revealing. It’s like a new social landscape so it’s been good to explore food all around the world.”
And exploring is exactly what he’s been doing. Over the course of a storied photography career, Parr has snapped shots of pudding cups, pickle jars, and dozens and dozens of pot bellies. Now, more than 200 of those shots, taken in 36 countries, are available in a beautiful new photography book, “Real Food.”
Here’s the catch with Parr’s food photography, though: It’s not gloriously stylized like so much Insta-food-porn. Instead, it’s brightly lit and wonderfully garish.
“I am showing food as it really is, because we are surrounded by images in magazines where you see food looking glorious and beautiful, and we know that most people don’t surround themselves with food like that,” Parr said. “It is like the propaganda of food sales.”