My stomach clenches just looking at the photos. A Big Mac with fries. Cake with strawberries and a fondant rose. A slew of raw meats, including chicken breast, livers, and some ground round to top it off. Any of these things might look delicious in the right context. But shoved into someone’s mouth, in a single bite? I may never eat again.
This is the series Fast by artist Mathieu Frossard. His photos are indeed just what they look like, copious amounts of food, shoved into a model’s mouth with reckless abandon. They’re meant to be a commentary, not on what we eat but what we consume.
“I used food as a visual metaphor standing for a general idea of consumer goods,” Frossard tells Co.Design. He calls the work “corrupted advertising” that’s meant to promote the expediency of consumption without sustenance. The overflowing mouth represents both the literal and figural gluttony of abundance, and our consumer tendency to swallow first and chew later.
But Frossard doesn’t just want to gross us out–he’d rather his work evoke an “ambiguous feeling of attraction mixed with repulsion.” I’m just not sure the food ever looks appetizing enough to get us to the attraction stage–but maybe if the poultry were cooked, first?
As for the model who gummed the raw meats, she didn’t seem to mind.
“I just paid her a drink after the photo shoot,” Frossard confesses. “It’s quite a common deal in art school when someone helps you doing that kind of (weird/common) stuff.”