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Beautiful food, beautifully photographed: Depending upon where you stand on the cultural battlefield, the media we call food porn is either an artist’s glimpse of the otherwise unobtainable, a vicarious bite of somebody else’s meal; or, like a fat forkful of Marie Antoinette’s gateau, a gluttonous invitation to some karmic foodie apocalypse. Is good food fine art, obscene luxury, or moral imperative?

Food porn is a provocative term variously applied to a spectacular visual presentation of cooking or eating that arouses a desire to eat or the glorification of food as a substitute for sex. “Food porn” specifically refers to food photography and styling that presents food glamorously or provocatively. ~Wikipedia

I’m not so sure about the “food as a substitute for sex” bit – really, who wouldn’t choose “both” – but whatever your feelings on the matter, I suspect that we can all agree, if perhaps not admit, that they’re both fun to look at, which is why I’m psyched that Michael Magers Photography agreed to let me share his photografia culinaria with you today:The literal translation of photograph, from the Greek, means “to write in light”. What a wonderful phrase! I harbor no illusions about my capacity for art criticism, but it seems to me that writing in light is what all photographers should aspire to, and what excites me about Mike’s work:  When people ask me why I write about food, I generally answer that the food itself is incidental, or is at best a parable, and that mainly I just enjoy using language to convey ideas; that I love to cook, and more particularly to eat and drink, simply provides me with a convenient story line, and makes it that much easier to be passionate about writing. I think it’s fair to say that Mike would describe his photography in analogous terms, and largely independent of whether his subject matter happens to be a Michelin-starred plate, a Spanish market, or a New York City landmark:

You can read about these images, and check out Mike’s work other work, on his website.

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