As a child, oftentimes the warning from parents at the dinner table is the rarely heeded "Don't play with your food." In a collaborative artistic project, Robbie Postma and Robert Harrison came together after meeting at the advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson, where Postma is the chef and Harrison is a visual designer with an interest in photography. Their project, MENU, deconstructs the many ingredients and elements of fine dining with immaculately composed meals are literally shattered into a million pieces.
The project took a year to complete, with some of the compositions taking up to nine hours to fully stage. Specific food groups and nutrition are treated to their own photograph. In an interpretation of bespoke coffee, a model's face is taken over by a mosaic of multi-colored beans. The experience of partaking in red wine is made a bit more violent with shards of a glass embedded into a man's skull while he spews blood red liquid.
"The devil is in the detail," shares Harrison, "and that's something we really took to heart when shooting the photography."
Akin to constructing the most delicious meal, ingredients were the shining star of the MENU series. Harrison says, "Each single ingredient was painstakingly hand-placed onto the face, resulting in literally hours of preparation for each shot. It was important to work in a very organic way, shoot everything in camera and use no digital manipulation. This attention to detail and technique, combined with the unexpected scenarios—some would say downright disturbing images—is what has this such a compelling project to work on."