Food is something I think about all the time. As I’m eating lunch, I’m silently planning what I will have for dinner. I know many people don’t operate this way; my obsession is born from two things: a history of disordered eating and a real compulsion to savor everyday joys. I know, that’s a lot of contradiction. But I think it’s true. As much as food has given me grief in the past, it’s also something I adore. It’s the easiest, fastest way to gift yourself with a moment of happiness, a burst of pleasure. Out of all our cravings—and I know you crave more than just food because everyone does—it’s the most harmless to indulge (except earworms, but that’s a craving of another aural/oral sort).
And yet. Food is still so fraught, and that’s especially true for women. Hyper-realistic painter Lee Price digs her heels in and confronts the complex rat-king tangle of emotions that is nourishment in her recent series of self-portraits. “The areal view evokes the feeling of an out of body experience: the subject is watching herself engage in a compulsive behavior but is unable to stop. There is an absurdity to this act of compulsion. At the same time it is an attempt to find real nourishment,” she explains. There’s something at once both comforting and disturbing about these pictures. They feel brave. And yet. To call them brave seems strange. It’s just an artist eating food in a bathtub, right? It’s just a woman chowing down, right? But like, is it ever? (No.)
I won’t go into a big feminist rant here because I’m sleepy and that’s not really what I do on my blog anyway. But I will say this: I love her work. I love food. I hate food. I can’t imagine a world in which I would ever let someone photograph me eating in a bathtub. But Price did that to create her uncannily seductive paintings and that’s freaking badass.