It is said a person's eyes are the windows to her soul, but I think you might learn a lot more from her refrigerator. "Full Frontal Fridge" is a photographic exploration of random refrigerators in the September|October issue of Orion Magazine.
Photographer Mark Menjivar's images were photographed "as is," and have only a brief description of the owner and the number of people in the household. Therefore "about the eaters we must draw our own conclusions," writes Jennifer Sahn. "From these stark portrayals of how they nourish themselves, we can imagine them in good health or bad; in dress shoes or tattered sneakers, in a hurry or pondering the next meal as if the ceremonious act of fusion plus flame were the key to enlightenment."
I admit to my voyeuristic tendencies. Walking by homes and apartments lit from within, I sneak a glimpse at bookshelves, wishing I could read the titles to know more about the people who live there, who leave their kid's barbie car in the front yard, who chose a warm lantern to light their door. Full Frontal Fridge is a glimpse into modern life. As Sahn writes, "Look hard at these white rectangular compartmentalized spaces. This is what's become of the most elemental relationship human beings have to the land that surrounds them."
When I lived in Kosovo, my fridge was tiny and the electricity unpredictable, which made a daily trip to the small market up the street to buy local produce, potatoes and eggs for the day a treat as well as a necessity. Back in L.A., I realize all that I take for granted - a large refrigerator filled with fresh tomatoes, broccoli, apples and grapes that I picked up at the local farmer's market this morning. Admittedly, I chose to photograph my fridge post-farmer's market Sunday, it doesn't always look so green and fresh.
Go to "You Are What You Eat" under the projects tab at Mark Menjivar's site to take a look into other people's lives through their refrigerators, from a carpenter/photographer from Texas with a fridge full of a twelve-point buck shot on family property, to college students, to a midwife/middle school teacher the first week after deciding to eat all local produce, to a street advertiser in the same town living on a $432 fixed monthly income.
What does your refrigerator say about you?