Portion Control: Chrisopher Boffoli

By Jean Dykstra, July 2, 2013

Christopher Boffoli, Caramel Salt Harvesters. Courtesy Winston Wachter Fine Art

If you like your summer shows light and sweet, Christopher Boffoli’s playful exhibition at Winston Wachter Fine Art is for you. Portion Control, on view through July 31, offers a sugary selection of work from Boffoli’s book, Big Appetites (Workman Publishing Company). 

Boffoli creates fanciful landscapes with popsicles, lemon bars, Twinkies, and candy apples, populated with tiny people intent on carrying out their often-onerous duties. Each image – a soccer game played with peppercorns or two climbers scaling a rock-candy wall – is given a one-line, deadpan caption that gives a satirical spin to the bright, sunny scenarios.

Christopher Boffoli, Rock Candy Icefall. Courtesy Winston Wachter Fine Art

It’s not hard to think of photographers who have created worlds with toys and plastic figures to make serious cultural commentary – David Levinthal and Lauri Simmons, among others.  But Boffoli’s commentary about the food industry and our penchant for overindulgence is hardly biting – “Sometimes the shelf life of the food exceeded that of the people eating it” is the caption of a woman on a stretcher being carried over a row of spongy Twinkies. His small, convincing worlds are witty, even charming, but best consumed in small portions.