Jonathan Blaustein

one dollar’s worth of shurfine flour

…of tomatillos from mexico

…of potted meat food product

Fellow Pratt alum Jonathan Blaustein‘s The Value of a Dollar.

I’m interested in the way photography is used to deceive. Millions, if not billions of advertising dollars are spent annually photographing food and obfuscating reality. Fast food conglomerates are certainly the worst culprits, but everywhere we see glamorized versions of what we eat.

Food is clearly a potent symbol of wealth, power, health, and globalization for the 21st Century. Its value is determined by the price of oil, its transnational transport contributes to Global Warming, its ingredients entice America into obesity, and its production processes animals into floss and mush.

The photographs in this project attempt to strip back the artifice; to depict food items as they were sold, (minus packaging,) without styling, retouching, or artificial lighting. Each image represents a dollar’s worth of food purchased from various markets in New Mexico. The subjects exist as equivalent amounts of commodity, and nothing more. The resulting images allow for a meditation on the power and seductive nature of the photographic medium itself.

© Jonathan Blaustein

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