My Life with Science, Art and Food

By Caren Alpert

Opening November 12

Artist's Statement
What’s in our food?

What’s the difference between a bird’s-eye view of a remote vegetable crop and a microscopic swath from a pineapple leaf?

How distinct is a pile of table salt from miles and miles of icebergs?

As a food lover and a photographer, I answer these questions visually. Using scientific laboratory photo equipment, I journey over the surfaces of both organic and processed foods: my own favorites and America’s over-indulgences. The closer the lens got, the more I saw food and consumers of food (all of us) as part of a larger eco-system than mere sustenance.

This particular combination of science, photography and food has never been explored before. I am using equipment that is traditionally used for science and academic advancement for art. Turning that notion on its head is exhilarating for me.

Connecting people and their food consumption is something that I hope to achieve by empowering viewers to reconsider how they think about their food, using art, rather than a plate and spoon. In this day and age when there’s so much rhetoric about food science, food journalism, food history, food how-to, what about a visual survey of what we all need, want and love (3-5/times/day)?

Artist Biography
Caren Alpert is a San Francisco-based fine art and commercial photographer. She specializes in food, travel, and lifestyle topics, and teaches editorial photography at Academy of Art University.

Born in New York, and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Caren earned a bachelor’s of fine arts in photography and graphic design from the University of Arizona.

Caren started her career as a photo editor in New York working with titles such as Health and Money Magazines. In addition, she’s worked as an editor and researcher for Vogue, George, and for Miramax Films.

Much of Caren’s commercial life centers around culinary topics. But, she is also a science geek at heart.  As a result, she found a way to combine her three favorite topics:  food, technology and art, by shooting food with an electron microscope. Caren’s fine art photography focuses on her examination of food, both visually and culturally.

Read about Caren Alpert's Exhibit in The Wall Street Journal.