Stale Life: A Collaboration with Franck De Las Mercedes
Food desert: Defined by the USDA as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these communities may have no food access or are served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options.
Stale Life is an exploration of accessibility, consumption and mass production. From brightly-colored cereals and 15 cent juices, to rotting plantains and "all natural flavors", the photographic series takes a look at the complicated relationship between our food environment and health. Referencing imagery reminiscent of the old masters Espinoza and de las Mercedes paint a modern tale of food in today's culture.
"As a single mom, my mom went for whatever was cheaper and could last longer. Cereals, cookies, deli meat and McDonalds were part of our diet because they were easy to get when she couldn't always cook. Of course we loved them because they were colorful and cool and marketed to make us long for them. Being aware of the harm these foods can cause helps but that doesn't solve the problem.With other toxic products there are always warning labels - cigarettes, alcohol, cleaning products - but the shit that's in these foods sometimes are just as toxic.”
– S. Espinoza