Portraits of People In Layers of Junk Food Convey Dangers of Mass Production

Portraits of People In Layers of Junk Food Convey Dangers of Mass Production

Post-apocalyptic monsters molded from processed goods and sugar

Ross Brooks
  • 12 august 2014

Junk food tastes great going down, but when you look at it in the right light, you realize it’s something that probably shouldn’t be going inside your body. To highlight the corruption of globalisation, along with the increasingly dangerous methods of food production, photographer James Ostrer has created a series called “Wotsit All About.” It features people that look more like monsters hidden beneath layers of sweets and processed goods – with the end result being a hideous thing to behold.


The photograph’s form part of the Gazelli Art House’s Window Project, which offer a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world which has been destroyed by mass production. Here’s how they describe the images in their press release:

James Ostrer’s photographs of sugar adorned subjects allude to the history of primitive art, synthetic dietary sugar intake, and an irreverent twist on the absurd in which societal practices of ingestion oscillate into a nightmarish world of abject effrontery and nutritional disillusionment.

Each of the sugary monsters required the painstaking application of foodstuffs overloaded with additives. In many cases the artist himself was the person being transformed into a gruesome concoction of sugar. Look out for different allegories such as Ketchup being used to represent tears of blood, and Kit Kats’ forming the basis of a menacing grimace.

They are bittersweet to the point of decay and emphasize much of our contemporary society’s needs for synthetic glucose praise, and, in doing so, proselytize the image as a new catalogue of self-harming sugar worship.

Looking at the photographs is an excellent way to make processed goods look very unappealing for the next few weeks. Should the discomfort wear off and you find yourself craving some sugary goodness, it might help to remember the hideous monster that could one day consume your human form.


As part of Gazelli Art House’s on-going commitment to art education, the gallery will host a series of events and talks to run alongside the exhibition. They are dedicated as an art organization they are dedicated to providing a new setting for the understanding and deeper appreciation of art.



James Ostrer

[h/t] Junk Culture

Images by James Ostrer


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