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'Contemporary Pieces' Puts a Fast Food Spin on Renaissance Art

Enamored with the paintings of the Renaissance Period, German photographer Rebecca Rütten created “Contemporary Pieces,” which puts a modern humorous twist on classic Renaissance paintings through its focus on fast food culture.

Rütten says she became interested in the project because of the parallels between class divisions featured in Renaissance art, and the divisions she saw in her own life: “In the Late Renaissance, Italian and Dutch painters dealt with the middle and lower classes. In my opinion, Fast Food Culture represents these two social classes in the United States today. To eat healthy is expensive. However, one can buy large amounts of food at a fast food restaurant for a comparatively low price.”

Having her friends model for Renaissance-style portraits, and creating elaborate Fast Food still life photographs, Rütten says she enjoyed the fact that many of them were tattooed and pierced; representing their place as “’Children of the Modern Age,’ having been brought up in the changing America, often defined by the culture of fast food. ” Discussing her decision to take a humorous look at Fast Food culture, Rütten points to the ability of humor to ease tension and allow people to discuss diverse social issues.

You can find more of Rebecca Rütten’s work on her website.

Images courtesy of Rebecca Rütten, used with permission.

Via [MyModernMet]

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Dudley Didereaux's picture

Very good!

Chris Smart's picture

"In my opinion, Fast Food Culture represents these two social classes in the United States today. To eat healthy is expensive."

That's a ridiculous statement for a number of reasons. First, eating so-called fast food is not an easily defined thing. Just because something is quickly made and inexpensive doesn't mean it is unhealthy. Another reason is that eating a slice of cheese pizza or a hamburger, for examples, is not unhealthy. The difference between a healthy and unhealthy version of those two foods usually boils down to added toppings, and ultimately portion sizes. At their core, those two foods are actually quite healthy. The same goes for a turkey sandwich from a Subway.

Finally, her definition of fast food is clealry targeting corporate American fast food. If she new anything about America she would know that fast food in America goes well beyond that. She is showing signs of being influenced by typically ignorant stereotypes about America from many people in European countries and their snobby and often hostile attitude towards American culture and business success.

It's also interesting and telling how she negatively and ignorantly targets America when so much German fast food is often even more fatty and calorie ladened than the type of American food she is targeting. She could have also targeted French fine cuisine, the more expensive kind that she says is healthier, since there is probably no more fat ladened food in the world per portion size.

In my opinion this is simply a piece done by someone with anti-American views and biases. I lived in her part of the world for a number of years and I heard and saw the constant anti-American judging and preaching firsthand.