Graphic designer James Reynolds recreated the final meals of nine American prisoners executed between 1963 and 2006, then photographed each on an inmate-orange cafeteria tray.
Fastcodesign.com points out one particularly chilling choice in the series, titled Last Suppers:
Consider the meal for John Wayne Gacy aka the Killer Clown: a bucket of original-recipe Kentucky Fried Chicken (which is extra creepy because Gacy had worked for KFC and abused male employees there).
I find it rather disturbing that Reynolds aestheticized the meals so highly until they radiate an almost minimalist sheen. It is an attempt to humanize the criminal or confuse the viewer about our notions regarding good and evil? I found myself staring at each image and psychoanalyzing each prisoner, which proves to be a frustrating and futile experience.
Nine photos in this series seems to be far too little. In this case, more would be more powerful and effective as these photos — and their careful preparation — is really about voyeurism where we are being seduced by a form of food/design/crime porn.
I for one will be delighted when capital punishment is banned not only in America (one of the last Western countries to still practice it), but all around the world. When that day comes, the meaning of these photos will be very very different.
Hat tip Henry C
Join Hyperallergic for an online conversation with cultural organizer and curator La Tanya S. Autry on February 1 at 7pm (EST).
This week, the Tonga eruption as captured from space, Boston gets a big gift of Dutch and Flemish painting, 30 years of New Queer Cinema, an important Marcel Breuer house is demolished, and much more.
At this free online summit, hear from architects Tadao Ando and Lesley Lokko; artist Himali Singh Soin; author Amitav Ghosh; design studio Formafantasma; and more.
Being bowled over by an unknown artist’s first one-person show does not happen often but when it does, it renews your faith that the art world is not just about buzz and hype.
Surrealist images of a Rice Krispies box or Yukon Gold potato explore how data is transformed into the visual language called art.
This immersive video installation utilizes waterscape scenes to speak about concepts such as existence, intimacy, healing, and aquatic ecology.
What is wonderful about the online photography exhibition What Have We Stopped Hiding? is that one is given entrée to the internal monologue of the artists featured in the show.
Self-taught artists were invited to exhibit, and sell, their fuzzy stacks of pancakes and tasseled tapestries.
Curator, educator, and transdisciplinary artist Jova Lynne is coming from MOCAD to lead Temple Contemporary exhibitions and public programs.
Our culture seems obsessed with the artist/model relationship, portrayed in countless movies and narratives as a relationship that is lustful and scandalous.
Creator Art Spiegelman said he was “baffled” by the decision and called the school board’s behavior “Orwellian.”
The winners of this year’s Ocean Art Underwater Photo Contest prove that life is indeed better under the sea.