Delicacies Review

by Tyler Goldfarb, ICP Library midwinter intern

Ron Stark’s Delicacies is a humble little book that can be easily looked past because of its physical simplicity. The photographer is almost impossible to find on the Internet, but that doesn’t dismiss his credibility or wonderful contribution to the photography world. Delicacies was published in 1978 and is a “kitchen meditation.” Stark’s photographs of various images of food symbolize simplistic living and the importance of giving tender attention to each facet of life. His food images vary in photographic genre, ranging from classical still lives to lifestyle photographs taken in an array of locations where food is either created or digested.

The book begins with a true-to-scale black and white photograph of an apple, but calling it just an apple is like saying Edward Weston’s peppers are just peppers. Like Weston, he uses the subject to embody something larger than its physical self. In this case, the apple is transformed into an abstracted landscape, reminiscent of an astral vista. Stark uses a large format camera, which allows such intricate detail to the apple skin. The viewer gazes in awe of the star-like patterns formed on the skin. “Stark’s photographs present the mute surprise of humble objects freshly seen.” His photographs will re-introduce you to the delicacy of simple living and bring the joy back to the kitchen. Mmm, just bit an apple…

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