You’ve seen it taking over Instagram and Pinterest feeds: sensuous sundaes, carnal cheeseburgers, meals so tantalizing they seem obscene. But those, it turns out, are just the PG takes on food porn. And they’re nothing compared to photographer Bryan Regan’s “50 Shades of Food” series.
When Regan first noticed the popularity of the E.L. James novel, he didn’t intend to do much with it. He read most of the first book, 50 Shades of Grey, but never made it to the end. Then, one day, he found himself in the studio without a scheduled shoot. On a whim, he had the idea to grab a chicken, tie it down with some gear, and call it “50 Shades of Food.” After googling “food bondage,” he realized he’d stumbled on a whole body of work -- which he decided to push further into fetishism.
Like the novel that inspired them, the photos are captivating, if horrifying: asparagus tied in ropes, a french fry and ketchup packet handcuffed together, more dildos than we can count. Though the images might seem to comment on the Instagram fetishization of food, don’t get carried away constructing complex theories or interpretations. Regan sees it as “just a playful piece that I hope people can look at and have a good laugh." A reassuring sentiment to sit back and enjoy a punny title and some ridiculous photos.
Just be careful how long you spend with them. When asked about responses to the work, Regan responded simply, “I still cannot eat a donut.”