By: Nikki Nies
The love of food has no boundaries. You only have to look at Mark Menjivar’s portfolio of “Refrigerators” to grasp the concept of “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I found his recent photo montage in National Geographic to be too interesting not to share! Menjivar’s photo are an insider’s look into the concept of “you are what you eat.”
Before looking at the included captions, what’re your initial impression of the refrigerators? Any guesses as to what kind of person the food belongs to?
I’m sad to admit that I wasn’t aware of Menjivar’s project, “You Are What You Eat”, which started in 2007 until I was perusing an overview of his works recently. However, if you’re late to the party like me, it’s not to late to peruse the photos and get an insider’s look into people’s lives through their fridges, literally.
As you can see, a lot of Menjivar’s photos are side by side pictures of 2008 and then of the same fridge in 2012. Menjivar had initially taken picture’s a midwife’s fridge in 2008, who had just started a commitment to eating only local produce. In 2012, the presence of Dole and Minute Maid products attest to how that turned out. Additionally, he revisted a bartender in 2012, after initially having a fridge stuffed to the brim with Styrofoam take-out containers, and it smelled so bad that Menjivar almost couldn’t stand to keep the door open long enough to photograph it. Fast forward to 2012, bartender lost a lot of weight and drastically changed his eating habits, but the American flag towel that he used to absorb dripping in the back of the fridge remains.
His project spanned over four years, traveling to over twenty American communities, peering into more than sixty fridges in the hopes to explore the intersection between eating habits and identity. His work has been exhibited at museums and universities across the country. I would say he successfully achieved his aim, wouldn’t you? What does your fridge say about you?
Photo Credit: Mark Menjivar