A couple months ago, I went out to Arizona for a wedding. It was an oppressively hot weekend to visit the Southwest, despite a summer of heavy rains that brought a verdigris blush to the copper cliffs and mountains outside Tucson. The landscape has always seemed unreal to me, a kind of alien arcadia so different from the soft hills and lazy rivers of my home in the Northeast.
I experienced another, even more exotic landscape before I left the desert. At the Phoenix Art Museum, in a show of self-published photography books, I stumbled across "Processed Views," a set of gorgeous photos satirizing industrial food production. Artists Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman recreate historical photographs of industrial expansion in the American West, using junk food and soda to rebuild the dramatic scenery. Marshmallows stand in for icy boulders; a strip-mined cliff, the layers of a technicolor cake. The resulting images are as breathtaking as the antique originals, and as easy to ingest as the unhealthy food they pillory.
The complete series is available as a set of postcards for $25 here; limited-edition prints are also available upon request.