When you open up your refrigerator, do you ever pause and ask yourself if the image you see reflects your eating habits and goals? Would you feel any differently if it was on display for complete strangers to see and scrutinize it?
Photographer Mark Menjivar explores the interiors of refrigerators across the country for his thought-provoking project “You Are What You Eat,” which offers a very personal look at people’s eating habits. Menjivar explains his unique subject choice: “A refrigerator is both a private and a shared space. One person likened the question, ‘May I photograph the interior of your fridge?’ to asking someone to pose nude for the camera. Each fridge is photographed ‘as is.’ Nothing added, nothing taken away.”
His images are identified only by a few key details such as occupation, location, household size and one fact that gives some insight into the image. The result begs the viewer analyze each item and its relationship to the owner’s lifestyle. And in turn, it provokes some degree of introspection as well, which is exactly what Menjivar hopes the project will do—make people think. The series has been showcased at universities as part of conversations about food issues.
This slideshow offers only a few images from the project; you can find more images of other refrigerators, in Menjivar’s portfolio.
All images courtesy of Mark Menjivar.