Barbra Riley’s Surreal Food Porn/Still Life Hybrids

There’s a fair share of whimsy that comes through in Barbra Riley’s contemporary photographs recalling Dutch still lifes. Each contains Easter eggs that bring the viewer back to modern-day life: Sharpies, a Samsung Galaxy Note phone, Ipod earbuds. Riley achieves the surreal effect by seamlessly merging backgrounds (Mount St. Helens and Canyon Lake, most recently) with still lifes that have been shot separately. The Texas AM University-Corpus Christi photography professor spoke about her process in advance of “Epicurean Landscapes,” an exhibit featured at Found art gallery in La Villita, Riley’s SA reps.

When did you start shooting food?

I’m really into food. It sort of happened accidentally. I’m really much more of a landscape photographer. I used to do surreal landscapes where I hand-colored black and white prints with colors that were super real. I was goofing around in the studio with some fake fruit, thinking, ‘I wonder what it would be

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