Ottawa - The vibrant, and sometimes disturbing images of over-exposed and camera flashed food items from shawarma shops across the city will now be on exhibit at the prestigious Karsh Photography Gallery this month. Once only enjoyed by late night revellers and hungry urbanites who can't read menus and require enlarged photos of food platters, the exhibit will showcase the artistic side of these "gastrophotos" as National Gallery director Marc Mayer calls them. "These stunning, over exposed, poorly lit and extreme close-ups of food platters, dripping sauces and combo deals shine a much needed light on the sometimes overlooked creativity that occurs in our urban shawarma shops." Mayer explained.
A featured photo in the exhibit is from Shawarma Man on Bank Street who photographed all of his menu items with an old Kodak 110 film camera, and captured the sheen of his grease and sauce covered food beautifully. "I really didn't think of the art in my food photos, I did it so people can just point a picture when they order instead of having to read a menu." Shawarma Man Halil Muharar replied when asked how he feels about his food being showcased in a prominent Ottawa gallery. "The food is beautiful, not just covered in garlic, but also as art." Muharar remarked.
The exhibit entitled "Beyond The Meat" opens this weekend at the Karsh Masson Gallery on St. Patrick Street and runs until March 22. The showcase of shawarma and other foods will be presented in extreme close-ups enlarged to mural sized format for viewers to enjoy, which is the same format as seen in the various shops they come from across the city.