PPD Spotlight: J. Henry Fair's "Southern Charms" and Dwight Eschliman's "Ingredients"

By David Schonauer   Wednesday October 21, 2015

Today we look at work from two PPD readers.

Photographer J. Henry Fair, who is perhaps best known for his abstract aerial views of landscapes that are polluted by large-scale industry or otherwise threatened by development, shows a different kind of work in a new exhibition: Images of his homeland in the American South. The work is on view at the Downing Yudain gallery in Stamford, Connecticut.

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based photographer Dwight Eschliman  releases his book  Ingredients: A Visual Exploration of 75 Additives & 25 Food Products, which depicts the stuff that goes into the stuff we eat. Eschliman  says his images combine fine-art and food science. You may be both aghast at what you ingest, and impressed by its beauty.

“Southern Charms,” by J. Henry Fair
Downing Yudain gallery, Stamford, Connecticut

“As a southerner, the simultaneous beauty and and contradictions of the place form a big part of my make-up,” says photographer J. Henry Fair. “The two aspects that concern me most are race and the environment, and since my other body of aerial work focuses on the environment, this one is more concerned with race.”

In his artist’s statement, Fair notes, “One would be remiss not to repeat the oft said truisms that the south is a beautiful place, replete with deep secrets and sinister history. One either emerges with a burden or defiant denial, and either gives a unique view of the world. Anyone’s relationship with the idea of “home” is difficult, with conflicts of loyalty, uncertainty about the veracity of the “truths” that formed the foundation of one’s development, and the normal baggage from childhood that we each spend a lifetime trying to discard. Being from the south only multiplies these.

INGREDIENTS: A Visual Exploration of 75 Additives & 25 Food Products, by Dwight Dwight Eschliman
Regan Arts

Four years in the making, San Francisco-based photographer Dwight Eschliman’s recently released book INGREDIENTS: A Visual Exploration of 75 Additives & 25 Food Products depicts the stuff that goes into the stuff we eat. Eschliman’s images of food additives are a bit frightening, but, as Wired  has noted, you may also come away impressed with ingredients like the shellac, harvested from the resin of an insect, that coats some of your candy.

“From far away, the ingredients listed on nutritional labels look like a pretty homogenous set of mildly-colored powders and liquids, but these up-close photos emphasize their variety, revealing the small tweaks in viscosity and texture that make the difference between a great emulsifier and a shiny coating,” notes the magazine

In the book, Eschliman shows you both what the ingredients look like and the weird and wonderful things they do. Are they safe? That is not an artistic question; it’s for you to decide.


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