Guess Who’s Playing With Dinner? 

The Photo Blog
May 22 2013 1:23 PM

Playing With Food


Emmanuel Pierrot (2)

Emmanuel Pierrot describes himself as a "domesticated hen tamer, ladybird breeder, occasional gardener, gourmet, and chef." Oh, and a photographer, of course.

Pierrot's work for the French newspaper Libération combines those disparate interests into playful photos of food and animals. For years, he's been making the images to accompany a special column in the newspaper. Every week is an opportunity to exercise his imagination using images from "the world of the dream."


Emmanuel Pierrot (2)


Emmanuel Pierrot (2)


Emmanuel Pierrot (2)

Though his images are surreal, they aren't altered in any way. He wants viewers to be surprised and delighted by the real, fantastic situations he sets up.


When it comes to finding his materials, Pierrot is resourceful. He uses food from his fridge, which he purchases at the local market, and animals and insects from his garden. Sometimes his neighbors lend him their pets. One day recently, a bee flew in his window, and he immediately set about trying to incorporate the insect into his work.

Though photographing food and animals is his specialty, Pierrot says that he doesn't always use these elements in his work.

"When it can serve the story, I do it. I always try to serve the story I have in my mind," he said.

Pierrot said his goal is to use a few basic elements to make a simple but powerful impact. Often, it's a satirical comment on current events. His photo of a disembodied cow's head references a mad cow disease epidemic. One, featuring a pigeon's carcass on top of a car, is a comment on suburban life. Another, featuring a pig, intends to tackle the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal.  

Pierrot says that he sees his work as being in conversation with traditional still life in art. But while the still life often incorporates creatures that are dead, Pierrot says he wants his photos to feel alive.



Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.