Monday, 4 March 2013

Stephanie Gonot Analysis

Stephanie Gonot is a Los Angeles based photographer and curator. She created a series of artworks called 'Edibles'. The edible series are of the theme of everyday still life, she uses everyday foods in her photographs as she replaces the normal still like objects with grotesque vs sweet. Most of the images combine a grotesque object/food with something sweet. I think the meaning behind this is to watch what you eat. It may be implying that what we think is on our food may not actually be the case, for example processed foods. The idea of the on going concerns about bad food or junk food comes to mine, the idea of it being unhealthy, although it may look appetising. In Stephanie Gonot's  photographs she puts a spin on it by photographing appetising foods in a grotesque way. She also takes it further by not only exploring bad foods but exploring bad habits such as smoking. By pushing the cigarettes into a pink substance and having a pink backdrop gives the sense of it being okay to smoke as pink is seen as female, calming and sometimes a healthy colour, to have the contrast between the two creates an interesting effect to the viewer. 

The photograph of the banana with the jelly around it is a contradicting photograph. Bananas are a healthy food and calm down your nervous system and reduce hyperactive qualities whereas jelly is high in sugar which makes you more hyperactive. Jelly is a sweet tasty food that often looks pretty in different moulds and in a range of colours but being mashed and placed next to the banana it makes it look grotesque and non edible. You can almost feel the slim and squidginess of the jelly from the photograph. She has framed the picture so that it is a close up of the foods which makes it seem like it is close enough to touch. This has a bigger impact than having the foods far away as it makes you feel like you have to be close to it. It reminds me of one of her other photographs of a melted ice cream in a hand, the picture is taken really close to the objects that it makes you feel like you're the one with the ice cream in your hand, to me it makes me agitated as I feel like I need to wash my hands seeing it drip down the hand and in-between the fingers soon to dry and be sticky. I think the composition of the photograph has been planned as she has laid the banana down that way and put the jelly on and around the banana, if it was random then the jelly would not be that close to the banana. Arranging the objects makes the photograph have more of a purpose, as there has been some thought into the design and arrangement rather than just throwing the objects down and taking a picture. You can work out the scale of the photograph as we all know the size of a banana and jelly cubes, however the photograph may have been enlarged or scaled down. To me having an image like this would have more of an impact being of a large scale as it feels more close up and as if the grotesque nature of it is taking over. 

The work has inspired me as it is an original, diverse and contemporary way of exploring the idea of still life. The objects used may be simple but simple is more effective sometimes than having a busy photograph. I would like to explore the idea of grotesque and sweet foods either in the same photograph or as a set of two to show the contrast between the two. I would have different foods where I could expose the insides and have fillings oozing out from the foods.

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