Originally commissioned for Sleek magazine’s Food/Feed issue, these artistic photos combine three different elements that don’t often go together – contorted figures, fashion and food. Photographer Bill Durgin found this series, called Figures & Wares, “quite challenging” because he needed to figure out how to make distorted and unrecognizable bodies mimic still life. In essence, the New York-based photographer wanted the viewer to see how the human body could bear a striking resemblance to fruits and vegetables.
Look through Durgin’s website and you’ll also find a very interesting section called Nudes and Still Life which is a series of photographs that “reverberate between the languages of attraction and abjection, painting and performance, photography and sculpture.” There is no doubt that Durgin used this same concept when creating Figures and Wares.
“For the Nudes images I work with dancers, models, and my own body to choreograph shapes through contortion and perspective. Resisting traditional views of figuration, I reduce the figure into an abstracted form of muscle, fat, and bone. I then compose a Still Life and connect the images through composition and location. I arrange flowers, fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat, delicately intertwined with wig hair traces from the figure to sculpt a Still Life that is both subtly grotesque and elegant.
“I've always tried to straddled to the border between the beautiful and the grotesque,” he tells us, “and I continue to refine and change the way I approach it.”
In 1995, Bill Durgin received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Tufts University in conjunction with School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Then, in 2000, Bill received his Masters in Fine Arts from California College of Art in San Francisco.
Love how you can really see and feel a fine art quality to these works.