In his series Still Diets, Italian photographer Dan Bannino (b. 1988) uses the classical style of still lifes to roast the odd eating habits of celebrities. In what he calls ‘Pop-Baroque’, Bannino creates theatrical still lifes of richly covered tables with food from the diets of various contemporary and historical celebrities, like Sophia Loren, King Henry VIII, Kate Moss and Lady Gaga. Pasta, baby food and french fries are perched on lofty piles, set against dramatic surroundings. Besides this contrast of the banality of the food items elevated to fine art, each still life captures an atmosphere of the arcane.
Bannino’s painterly style is strongly influenced from the Old Masters and the rich cultural inheritance of his native Italy. To bring every texture and flavour to life, the photographer lights the scenes from above, creating an eerie sharpness to the scenes that makes them distinct from an ordinary meal. Whether looking at the cottage cheese diet of Jackie Kennedy or the protein diet of Matthew McConaughey, Bannino illustrates how, no matter what century you’re in, celebrities have a penchant for being weird.