Christopher Boffoli: Big Appetites
December 1, 2014 – February 2015
Opening: Saturday, Dec 6, 6-9pm
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 of the work as it can be very beautiful – in terms of texture and color – especially when shot with available light and macro lenses. Combining what are 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. – Christopher Boffoli
Christopher Boffoli is a Seattle-based photographer, writer, journalist and filmmaker. He began shooting pictures as a teen, honing his skills as a student journalist in high school and college. While still an undergraduate he started his own commercial photography company. With a background in English and literature, 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.
A couple of life-changing events compelled him to pursue a creative career full-time. 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, and working locally in Seattle as a journalist, producing both feature stories and covering breaking news.
Christopher is best known for his Big Appetites work which has been published – online and in print – in more than 100 countries. His fine art photographs can be found in galleries and private collections in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.