New Photo Series Casts Playful Eye Toward Food And Power

Published February 14, 2017
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New Photo Series Casts Playful Eye Toward Food And Power
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As the 2016 presidential primary trail dragged on, GOP hopeful John Kasich found himself defending what had seemingly become a hot topic: pizza. More specifically, how he ate it.

“Look, the pizza came scalding hot,” the Ohio governor told ABC in March.

Kasich had drawn popular ire when, earlier that week, he'd used a fork to consume a New York pizza. Still, Kasich marks but one example among a sea of politicians whose eating habits have garnered popular ridicule.

Years before in 2011, for instance, Donald Trump fell under similar opprobrium when he used a fork to eat his own pizza pie. "Based on how you eat pizza,” Jon Stewart said, “I'd like to see your long-form birth certificate. I don't think you were really born in New York.”

However superficial it may seem, what a politician eats matters to many people — perhaps because it offers a point of commonality between the powerful and powerless. And it is this very topic that photographer Dan Bannino sought to highlight in his new series, “Power and Food.”

In the series, Bannino (whose work you can see on Instagram) uses real food to depict the eating habits of influential public figures including Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and Pope Francis — and hopefully to relay the notion that we have more in common with these people than we may think.

“I think that everyone is curious to know the secrets behind an important figure of power, or a celebrity, and small details are the greatest,” Bannino, 29, told ATI. “We're all humans after all, and knowing that your favorite food is perhaps the same food that the Pope loves — well, that might make you smile.”

This isn’t the first time that Bannino has made food a centerpiece of his work. Prior to arranging wide-eyed matryoshka dolls around a bowl of Vladimir Putin’s beloved pistachio ice cream, Bannino gave chicks the model treatment in his series, Chic Chicks, meant to shine a light on industrial farming.

And though the photographer has since moved from poultry to politicians, his interests — both thematically and artistically — remain the same. “I've always been fascinated by food, and everything that is related to it,” Bannino said. Then, by using “bright colors and the and almost hypnotic patterns,” Bannino says, “I love to surprise.”

For more artistic portrayals of influential men and women, check out our interview with Petro Wodkins.

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Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
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Cox, Savannah. "New Photo Series Casts Playful Eye Toward Food And Power.", February 14, 2017, Accessed June 23, 2024.