C H R I S T O P H E R
B O F F O L I
New York: Winston Wächter Fine Art 530 West 25th Street 21 June through 24 August Largest solo show to date with many new, large pieces that have never been exhibited before http://www.winstonwachter.com/exhibitions_ny.php
London: Flaere Gallery Liberty in Regent Street Thorough a special arrangement, Flaere gallery presents a selection of work available for sale through Liberty department store in Regent Street, for the duration of the summer and through the Summer Olympic Games. http://www.flaere.com
Monaco: Galerie Carré Doré 5 Rue Princesse Caroline Summer Mix h t t p : / / w w w. c a r re d o r - m o n a c o . c o m / ex h i b i t i o n s / s u m m e r mix-2012/07-2012/89.html
Fall Shows: September: Group Show, Los Angeles, Art Platform October: Group show, Toronto International Art Fair, Marcia Rafelman Fine Arts November: Seattle: Group show, Winston Wächter Fine Art
Visuelle Magazine has the great pleasure of introducing you to Christopher Boffoli´s wonderful world of photography. Boffoli is currently showing in London and New York. Information about the shows is listed on the left page. Enjoy! Roger Norheim Editor
COVER: Photo: Christopher Boffoli – It was the first cookie climb without supplemental oxygen.
© All Rights Reserved. Christopher Boffoli.
Any reproduction is prohibited without the written permisson of the photographer.
The sensual experience of eating accesses primal instincts that stretch back to the earliest days of our evolution
GENESIS The genesis of my Big Appetites series of fine art photographs was in a lot of the media I was exposed to as a child. There were so many films and television shows that exploited both the dramatic and comedy potential of a juxtaposition of different scales: tiny people in a normal-sized world. It is a surprisingly common cultural theme going back all the way to Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels in the 18th century and perhaps earlier. I think it is especially resonant with children because as a child you live in an adult world that is out of scale with your body and proportions. And you constantly exercise your imagination around a world of toys that are further out of scale. As a child I was an avid collector of Matchbox cars, a model railroader and a builder of models (cars, ships and airplanes). I was fascinated, as many children and adults are, with tiny, meticulously detailed things. When I began shooting some of the very earliest images in this series, around 2003, food was a conscious choice as one of the components as it can be very beautiful – in terms of texture and color – especially when shot with available light and macro lenses. Combining what is essentially food and toys makes the work instantly accessible to virtually everyone. Regardless of language, culture and social status, almost everyone can identify with toys from their childhood. And whether you eat with a fork, chopsticks or your hands, everyone understands food. Sitting down to a meal makes us feel most human. The sensual experience of eating accesses primal instincts that stretch back to the earliest days of our evolution. Whether we are reflecting on the comfort food of childhood, celebrating food’s tremendous diversity, or obsessing over calories and nutrition, cuisine is one of those rare topics that most people can speak about with authority and yet largely without controversy. So the choice of food as a backdrop of the environments of the Big Appetites series is certainly calculated.
â€“ 422 days without an accid
dent at the chocolate quarry.
Scarcely a century ago, a bunch of bananas or a pint of strawberries in the middle of winter were rare and exotic treats
America’s food celebration Our relationship with food can be complex. For decades, Americans have had broad access to an embarrassment of riches on supermarket shelves. And as such we often take that bounty for granted. But scarcely a century ago, a bunch of bananas or a pint of strawberries in the middle of winter were rare and exotic treats. Contemporary America not only has a huge range of exotic foods yearround, but we have cable television networks that broadcast nothing but shows about cooking and food. Some offer merely the spectacle of bizarre foods from distant cultures or competitions in which the audience root for their favorite chefs based on personality, but never having tasted or smelled a morsel of food. Beautifully photographed, glossy magazines offer us features on the farms and vineyards that supply our tables while endless cookbooks offer us everything from easy-to-follow cake recipes to the sous vide, alginate-laden masterpieces of top chefs, their dishes plated intricately like edible Faberge eggs. In truth, an alarming number of Americans eat on the go in their cars, or reheat processed foods at home. Though we’re exposed to arguably more food multiculturalism than any other generation, the vast majority of us tend to eat from the same prosaic revolving menu that is fast and easy if not always especially nutritional. Yet we continue to consume vast quantities of food-related media, perhaps to voyeuristically satisfy our unrealized intentions. Our eyes process the sensual experience of food that our mouths and noses have forgotten. So perhaps it is especially fitting for food to become nothing but an aesthetic backdrop for a world of tiny figures, in the same country that in 2011 produced the five volume Gutenberg Bible of cookbooks: Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine, an $800 reference that a fraction of its buyers will use to actually produce food. The components of the Disparity/Big Appetites photographs – toys and food – are among the most common elements in every culture in the world, regardless of language or socio-economic bracket. So perhaps its accessibility is the basis of its appeal. Playing with the language of size disparity, especially with these two extremely familiar components, seems to draw people into a different world.
â€“ Lazy Janet would use any
excuse at all to stop paddling.
I wish I could live in a world with oversized patisserie
Reaction to the Work Usually, the initial reaction to the images in the Big Appetites series is to the humor. People imagine the possibilities of standing next to a towering piece of chocolate cake or an Oreo cookie large enough to serve as a raft, floating in a glass of milk. But I hope the deeper effect is to compel the viewer to look more closely at the world around them and to consider deeper truths about our relationship to that which sustains us but also which we crave for comfort. Iâ€™ve heard people see these images and say, â€œI wish I could live in a world with oversized patisserie.â€? But the truth is that excess overwhelms us and turns us against what we think we love. Consider an exercise in which we're presented with the scenario of being on a deserted island and having to choose just one of your favorite foods to eat for the rest of your life. In most cases, the thing we would name would be something of which we would tire quickly.
â€“ With the market price sky disappearing into the han
yrocketing, strawberry seeds were nds of poachers.
I have become aware of other artists who have been working with similar concepts and even some who have even worked with small figures
Inspiration Beyond my exposure to and knowledge of the tiny figures from childhood, one of the works that inspired this series was a project called "Travelers" by the brilliant artists Walter Martin & Paloma Mu単oz (http://www.martin-munoz.com). They used a palette of the same scale figures and created dioramas inside snow globes. Some of the scenes could be whimsical or romantic. But what I especially liked were the darker ones that were fairly disturbing. This work was also influenced by some large dioramas by the Chapman Brothers that I saw at the Saatchi Gallery in London back in 2003. They used hundreds of hand-made figures in rather disturbing and horrific battle scenes. It was somewhat hard to approach (which I think is a good thing and something art can and should do to challenge us) but wonderfully executed. In the time since this work has gone viral, I have become aware of other artists who have been working with similar concepts and even some who have even worked with small figures (and sometimes even food). Though I was not aware of these artists at the time I commenced work on this project, it does not surprise me that others are exploring similar ideas as, again, the elements of food and toys are the most common things to many people.
– Though they’d be reticent Harvey was obviously at th
to admit that they were cliquish, he top of the pecking order.
These images look simple but can be tedious to set-up
Work Process The set-ups come from a very natural place. I'll usually start with the food, seeing what's in season at the farmer's market, considering what I've shot before. Or I think about iconic American foods, like Oreo cookies or Twinkies, and how an image of those things might tap into someone's early memory (or current closet addiction/supermarket guilty pleasure). But I also consider how I can populate those images with figures with a context that makes sense. By now I have quite a little community of figures that I use, and I keep adding to the arsenal all the time. So that's a big factor: finding a clever match for what I want to shoot. These images look simple but can be tedious to set-up. I'll often try to do multiple set-ups over a few hours. Some go quickly. Others take longer. I'll work out lighting and depths-of-field. There is a certain corner of my studio that I tend to use for this project. We have a lot of overcast days here in Seattle so it has marvelous, diffused light. I try to use available light as much as possible, though if I'm still working as the evening approaches I'll set up a couple of off-camera slaves to add light. Sometimes a set-up just doesn't work the way I had hoped and I'll change the orientation of the background and/or the figures. The figures in this work are all hand-painted and their meticulous detail is a big part of why the images work. On occasion I'll re-paint or modify figures to suit my purposes. Theyâ€™re designed to be glued to a train layout. So they don't stand on their own. The trick is getting them arranged. A lot of food is soft so I can use a toothpick to make a small hole into which I can insert one of the feet. Other times I use agave nectar or modeling clay to get the feet to stand on hard surfaces. Most of the process is enjoyable, from getting the idea, or seeing a food product â€“ that would make a good backdrop â€“ to actually setting it up in my studio and shooting it while I'm rocking out to music. Other than some light and color adjustment, the images are not heavily manipulated with image processing software. The food I use is even totally real. Especially with commercial food photography there is a lot of cheating, for instance, using white glue in place of milk or glass cubes instead of ice. But I don't really need to cheat with the food either. It is not always something you'd want to eat at the end of the shoot. But it is real.
â€“ Once again, owning an exo
otic pet was proving to be nothing but trouble.
The images have a strength and a personality of their own
Captions The images have a strength and a personality of their own. But they are most often exhibited with captions that lend an extra bit of energy to the concept, and of course, often reinforce the laugh. For instance, one of the more popular images from this series is the man spreading mustard on the hot dog. And the caption reads: “Gary always uses too much mustard. But no one can say so. It’s a union thing.” So you have this image of a food that is often associated with backyard barbecues and Americana, and there is a problem with it that isn’t even worthy of discussion due to the ironclad bureaucracy of union rules. A more recent image is of a rotund man alone against the French fry barricaded riot police and the promise of something great if he can just get by. The caption: “It was the precise moment that Larry knew those advanced judo lessons would pay off.” So it adds an element of surprise and humor that things aren't simply as they appear. That he might actually have a shot at the burger. Hopefully it gives the viewer a laugh at the expectation of events that may have followed. And again, it challenges the veracity of our first impression.
Contact Christopher Boffoli Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
â€“ Butter Business Bureau
â€“ Phillip steeped forward to
o take credit for all of the work
â€“ They would always work t who got to sink the knife i
together to open the foil, but then fight over into the pristine peanut butter.
Bio: Christopher Boffoli is a Seattle-based photographer, writer, artist and filmmaker. Largely self-taught, he took up photography as a hobby in his teens, honing his skills as a student journalist in high school and college. While still an undergraduate he started his own commercial photography company in Charleston, South Carolina. With a background in literature and English, he worked for more than a decade in the field of Philanthropy, raising money for elite schools like Dartmouth College and the London School of Economics. Christopher was able to integrate his creative skills, in writing, photography and graphic design into much of his fundraising work. A couple of life-changing events compelled him to pursue a creative career fulltime. As a resident of Lower Manhattan, Christopher was a firsthand witness to the World Trade Center attacks of September 11th. A few years later he was very seriously injured at high elevation while mountaineering on Washington’s Mt. Rainier. Since that time he has traveled the world, setting foot on six continents, writing and photographing his travels through documentary photography and video. At home in Seattle, he works as a writer and photojournalist, producing both feature stories and covering breaking news. Christopher’s work has been published – online and in print – in more than 90 countries. His fine art photographs can be found in galleries and private collections in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.
ArtsWest, Seattle A Feast for the Eyes: Food in Art – Group Show
Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle Petits Tableaux – Group Show
Marcia Rafelman Fine Arts, Toronto Toronto International Art Fair – Group Exhibition
Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle Art Platform, Los Angeles – Group Exhibition
Flaere Gallery, London Liberty, Regent Street – Group Exhibition
Winston Wächter Fine Art, NYC Edible Worlds – Solo Exhibition
Flaere Gallery, London Connaught Street – Group Exhibition
Marcia Rafelman Fine Arts, Toronto Spring Open House – Group Exhibition
Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle Big Appeites – Solo Exhibition
Galerie Carré Doré, Monaco Christmas Mix – Group Exhibition
Marcia Rafelman Fine Arts, Toronto Toronto International Art Fair – Group Exhibition
Galerie Carré Doré, Monaco Taste of Art – Group Exhibition
West Seattle Art Walk, Seattle Group Exhibition
2012 Washington Post Village Voice The Chew, ABC television RAISE Magazine (France) Der Spiegel, Germany NBC First Look (national broadcast TV) Seattle Magazine KING5 Evening Magazine (regional broadcast TV) Seattle Times Eat Me: Appetite for Design (Victionary, Hong Kong) Huffington Post Seattle Weekly West Seattle Blog The Stranger (Seattle) 2011 Oprah.com NBC Today Toronto Star Univision.com El Pais, Spain CiliChili Magazine, Czech Republic InTouch Weekly, US Telegraph, UK Daily Mail, UK Daily Mirror, UK Sun, UK Daily Record, Scotland Perth Now, Australia Telegraph, Australia The Nation, Pakistan News 247, Greece L’Espresso Magazine, Italy My Modern Metropolis (Design), US Fast Company Design, USA National Geographic Image Collection, USA Buzzfeed.com, USA Gizmodo.com (Gawker Media), USA
Trendhunter.com, USA Design Taxi, USA Gastronomica, USA DPI Magazine, Taiwan Tyden Magazine, Czech Republic Italy Global Nation (IGN), Italy Smashmag, Russia Huisgenoot Magazine, South Africa DT Magazine, Spain Bari Magazine, Italy Suma News, Iran Het Beland Van Limberg HBVL (News), Belgium Design Swan, USA Private Visual, People’s Republic of China Beautiful Life.com, USA Froot, Netherlands Dolls House Magazine, UK Peak Gourmet and Travel Magazine, Singapore Web Cultura, Romania Chef Oropeza Día a Día Magazine, Mexico The Libertinism, Taiwan Wasse3.com, Saudi Arabia Joia Magazine, Chile Nevsedoma, Ukraine La Prensa, Bolivia Gizmodo Japan LangweileDich, Germany Ignant, Germany Arga Klara, Sweden Tasting & Living Magazine, Belgium MTV3 (News), Finland Vandaag, Belgium 2010 Seattle Magazine, USA West Seattle Blog, USA Seattle Times, USA
P ro d u c t i o n & G ra p h i c d e s i g n by :
w w w. c o l l e c t i o n s . n o
Photography by Christopher Boffoli