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‘Contemporary Pieces’ – When Fast Food Meets Renaissance Art

By Hanssie on December 25th 2014

As you are cleaning up the aftermath of all the gift wrap strewn about your living room, the remnants of all the gifts you so painstakingly wrapped, putting the ham/turkey/lobster/meat of choice into the oven, and prepping to put your fat pants to the test, first of all, accept my felicitations for a Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday/Happy Hanukkah/etc!

Food, it’s the fuel our body runs on, and before we partake these days, we make sure it’s properly documented and shown to the world. Whether it is our double shot, Venti skinny latte or that greasy In-N-Out burger, animal style, this generation has taken to photographing our meals and sharing them (usually on Instagram) with our friends. Though documenting our food as art is not a new practice, still life and food photography has come a long way from the Renaissance era where painters such as Michelangelo, Raphael, and Caravaggio used food as props to embellish their subjects or focused on a plate of peaches as the centerpiece to their masterpiece.



Inspired by these late era Renaissance artists, German photographer Rebecca Ruetten, created the series, Contemporary Pieces, where she tries to emulate the “eroticism, presentation and charisma” of the art in that time period and taking on the modern fast food culture, at the same time. Becky explains, “In the Late Renaissance, Italian and Dutch painters dealt with the middle and lower classes. In my opinion, Fast Food Culture represents these two social classes in the United States today. To eat healthy is expensive. However, one can buy large amounts of food at a fast food restaurant for a comparatively low price.

Asking her modern, tattooed and pierced friends to model for her, this series contains 5 portraits and 5 still life images. Significantly, Becky’s friends in this series stay away from the genetically modified, nutrition deficient, fast food that is a dietary staple for many in the US. The dramatic lighting and poses of the models and their respective pizzas, fried chicken or hot dogs, adds an almost absurd humor to this series that asks the viewers to think and to consider their own interpretations of food, culture, and the modern age.

Becky-Fuchs-1 becky-fuchs-2 Becky-Fuchs-3 Becky-fuchs-4 Becky-fuchs-5 Becky-Fuchs-6

To see more of Rebecca Ruetten’s (who also works under the name Becky Fuchs), check out her website here.

CREDITS : Photographs byRebecca Ruetten have been used with permission for SLR Lounge. Do not copy, modify or re-post this article or images without express permission from SLR Lounge and the artist.

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Peter Nord

    Nothing jerks a subject out of the renaissance era like a greasy pizza box. I could almost believe the bearded fellow draped with red cloth contemplating the pizza slice was part of an old painting – a photoshop overlay of brushstrokes would have clinched it – except the pizza box rips open the fabric of time shoving us into the present. Thoughts of head shots of my neighbors with suds on their beards, and burgers at the ready, scream ‘let’s do it’ at the local tavern.

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