This project by photographer Henry Hargreaves is both intriguing and disturbing at the same time. The series, entitled No Seconds, features the last meals requested by inmates on death row. Hargreaves recreated the meals as he imagines they were served, complete with silverware, tablecloths, and lacy placemats. The details of each inmate are listed beside the photograph, including name, age, and the way that they were scheduled to die.
The artist explains, “As an artist, I find a lot of my inspiration from the weird and unusual. I came across a Wikipedia page about final meal requests before prisoners were executed. I'm originally from New Zealand and, like a lot of foreigners, find the concept of the death penalty still existing in the U.S. really strange. Without needing to take a point of view on the right or wrong of the original crime, sentence, or possibility of a miscarriage of justice, for a brief moment I was able to identify with the person who would request this kind of a meal as their last on Earth,” and he follows by saying, “Hopefully with these images, you will be able to think about the condemned man as an individual. I hope that people can look beyond the crime, and stir some empathy for another human being.”
Hargreaves creates a wide variety of photography, ranging from serious topics, like this one, to more lighthearted projects like this series of creative scanner bed fashion portraits.