Still Diets

Celebrity Diets as Classical Still Lifes

The cult of celebrity is alive and well today as it ever was, following up on common people’s obsessions with the events in the lives of those not-so-common. Where do they shop? Who are they friends with? What do they wear? And eat? This last thing is the topic in the art of Still Life. Mixing popular culture and Old Masters, bringing celebrity diets on a level we’ve never seen before – giving us a fresh look at the eating habits of the likes of Donald Trump, Beyoncé, Usain Bolt and Jackie Kennedy, among others.

"To visualize the unusual diets of celebrities or famous personalities is to transform legends into astonishing Reality."

Still Diets-Celebrity Diets as Classical Still Lifes © Dan Bannino Heidi Klum "80_20 Diet"

Heidi Klum "80_20 Diet"

The diet, which is followed by many celebrities, consists of eating ultra-healthily 80% of the time and letting go for the other 20%. A good tip for losing weight without risk of yoyo-ing.

Jaqueline Kennedy "Pearl Beauty Diet"

According to legend, one diet consisted of nothing but a single baked potato, stuffed with beluga caviar and sour cream, eaten once a day. Jackie’s favourite type of caviar, beluga, comes from a sturgeon found in the seas.

Usain Bolt "Chicken McNuggets Diets"

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt has a dietary secret to success: Chicken McNuggets. During the 2008  Beijing's Olympics Games, Bolt reportedly ate 100 chicken nuggets a day. The gold medalist broke three world records in the 100m, 200m and 100m - all fuelled by McDonald's.

Princess of Denmark "Perfect Portions Diet"

Known for her impeccable style, grace and poise, the Crown Princess Mary of Denmark doesn’t ever put as much as a foot wrong. Before her wedding, Mary was widely rumoured to take up the ‘perfect portions’ diet – eating what you want, but in smaller, ‘perfect’ portions.

Sophia Loren "Pasta Diet"

Italian actress and Accademy Award Sophia Loren once said of her svelte figure, “Everything you see I owe to spaghetti,” and if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for us.

Karl Lagerfeld "The Lagerfeld Diet"

A few years ago the head designer for Chanel, decided to lose drastically some weight. After devoting himself to a strict diet tailored by weight-loss guru Dr Jean-Claude Houdret, he lost 80lb within the year, then wrote a best book about it.

Donald J Trump "Fast Food Diet"

Most of this man’s diet consists of junk food eaten at the comfort of his own desk, the richness of it further emphasized by the lush red in the composition.

Kim Kardashian "Atkins Diet"

The protein-rich diet, which was created by Dr. Robert Atkins, eliminates carbs but encourages dieters to not concern themselves with counting calories.

Lady Gaga "Baby Food Diet"

The singer has allegedly been dieting on baby food to stay slim during her world tour. The already tiny star has kept feasting with this low-calorie food to maintain her slight physique.

Albert Einstein "Vegetarian Diet"

The German born genius, physicist, wacky-haired philosopher of science was a vegetarian for a portion of his life. He was advised by his doctor to cut meat from his diet. At this point, Einstein was in his seventies.

©Dan Bannino-Matthew McConaughey

Matthew McConaughey "Protein Diet"

For the role played in the movie "Dallas Buyers Ckub" that earned him the Oscar award, the Australian actor followed a strict plan that led him to lose more than 20 kg. The diet consists mainly inFor his role that Chicken's breast, tapioca pudding, egg white and diet Coke

Mariah Carey “Purple diet”

Mariah Carey is said to have followed what it is called the "Purple Dieat" to shed her post-baby pounds. According to Star magazine, "The diva has thrown herself into a new diet: three days a week, she eats purple foods only like plums, grapes and eggplants."

Still Diets © Dan Bannino - Henry VIII "Banquet diet"

Henry VIII "Banquet diet"

By Henry’s reign, the price of fresh meat had fallen sufficiently so that when it was available, the average Tudor family could afford it. The century before, poorer families would have rarely enjoyed meat, eating a diet of stewed vegetables and pulses. Courtiers were served a menu of dishes containing around 5000 calories a day! Manly consisting in pork, chicken, rabbit and lamb's meat. Fruits and wine (water was consider unhealthy).

Still Diets © Dan Bannino Kate moss "Hollywood Diet"

Kate moss "Hollywood Diet"

Alcohol & cigarettes.

"When bizarre Celebrity Diets become Caravaggio-like photographic Still Lifes"

-Widewalls-

Still Diets

Partially eaten food, often falling off the plates and even the table, gives a sense of reality to the images, as if Lady Gaga had, in fact, just sat down to eat her strict diet of baby food earlier that day. During the developing process, another substantial inspiration came from the artworks of Dutch’s artist from the Gold Age, researching and studying those elements as symbols of vanity, somehow connected to our everyday life. The result is a mash-up of old and new, baroque and modern.

"Each image consists of a table suspended in a black void, upon which elegant silverware, relevant decorative artifacts, and the food in question lay."

-Vice-

The story behind

“Back in 2014 I’ve started working on the Still Diets series for the first time. Yesterday as today, the subjects and the story portrayed with these photos are in vogue as never before. The incredible work produced by the Old Masters of painting, especially Caravaggio, served as starting point. The importance of lights in every rim of my virtual canvas is a fundamental element of the composition. During the developing process another substantial inspiration came from the artworks of Dutch’s artist from the Gold Age, researching and studying those elements as symbols of vanity. The result is a mash-up of old and new, baroque and modern.”
 

“To visualize the unusual diets of celebrities or famous personalities is to transform legends into astonishing reality. Melting the legendary diets of public figures into baroque, still-life photographs that both bring these mythical anecdotes to life and aggrandize them further.

Each image consists of a table suspended in a black void, upon which elegant silverware, relevant decorative artifacts, and the food in question lay. Lit from above, each still life gains a dramatic, painterly feel, further transforming the banality of the food items into relics of eccentricity. 

With their lighting, messy composition, and the overabundance of food and expensive trinkets, the images feel somewhat hedonistic, as if Bannino is adopting a critical position towards the lifestyles of the people we idolize. But the photographer believes that he is not working from a position of cynicism or criticism, he is merely following a historical art tradition in his works.