One of Rene Mesman unusual food combinations
One of Rene Mesman unusual food combinations

Meet the photographer who plays with his food

Rene Mesman's unlikely pairings are visually arresting, although gastronomically unlikely

Here at Phaidon we've an open mind when it comes to unusual gastronomic pairings. Take Ferran Adrià's parmesan marshmallows, or asparagus with spruce, as prepared by Noma's René Redzepi. Yet, we're not so sure about the sharply contrasted foods arranged and shown by the Dutch photographer Rene Mesman.

One of Rene Mesman unusual food combinations
One of Rene Mesman unusual food combinations

Mesman is a still-life photographer based in Amsterdam who has worked for Heineken, Converse and the New York Times magazine in the past. Yet it is this personal project, featuring spliced fish with pineapple, blackberries with pea-pods and peaches with mushrooms that has caught our attention.

Using the kind of lighting techniques employed by still-life painters and working with food stylists Claartie Lindhout and Hanna van den Bos, Mesman's mismatched ingredients stand out in simple and graphical yet strangely beautiful photographs.

 

One of Rene Mesman unusual food combinations
One of Rene Mesman unusual food combinations

We're not sure what the likes of Redzepi or Adrià would make of these pairings, yet they're certainly visually appealing, if not gastronomically attractive. For more, take look at Mesman's other playful still-life pairings, which include stuffed birds with highly coiffed hairstyles. For greater insight into contemporary photography, please browse through our excellent selection of photo books.

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One of Rene Mesman unusual food combinations
One of Rene Mesman unusual food combinations