Imagine the endless life possibilities if you’d never listened to a word of your parents’ bogus advice. A thousand weird faces (no, they won’t stay that way) and maybe a few too many tattoos later, you might also have an exciting career playing with your food, like our very own Super Nasty contributing photographer Stephanie Gonot.
Since she started in 2010, she’s made a name for herself with her strange and disparate food photography. The weird pairings of her subjects and her matter-of-fact photo style create still lifes that are at once alarming and hilarious. “Working with food is great because people have strong reactions to it if it’s a little bit off,” she says. With brightly lit, highly saturated cacti nestled into a mountain of ice cream or cigarettes snuffed out into a Rite Aid pastry, it’s hard not to have a visceral, if confused, reaction to her work.
Several years ago, after ditching her chosen path in TV commercial production, Stephanie started working at Coolhaus ice cream truck in LA in order to work on her photography on the side. “My mind would wander,” says Gonot, “working with all the beautiful colors and textures of the ice cream and cookies for hours—eventually it made its way into my work.” Plus, the act of putting together those modernist-inspired ice cream sammies must have resonated with Stephanie, whose interest in architecture manifests itself in her super-sculptural assemblages.
These days, Stephanie’s taking her penchant for collecting, arranging and displaying objects to an all-new curatorial level. In her recent, just-wrapped show, Wish You Were Here, she brought together some of her favorite photographers and images for a postcard exhibit that encouraged visitors to mail the cards to their friends and family straight from the gallery (postage included!). Gonot has maintained a photo Tumblr, Please Excuse The Mess, since 2009 and was drawn to postcards as a real-life reblogging medium. “All of the work in the postcard show I had only seen online,” she says, “so this was a way of bringing these images into the real world.”
Whether she’s rendering elaborate 3D sculptures into flat images or bringing the web to reality, we’re as keen as it gets for Stephanie Gonot. Upcoming, keep a lookout for an all-projection show, a potential publication—and many more bonkers food images to come.