Lunching at your desk is never a glamorous affair; crumbs gather in your keyboard, mayo gets smeared on your mouse and the reality of spending more time at your desk at work than at home slowly sets in as you gulp down the low fat yoghurt you bought as a “treat”. Capturing the banality, misery and tediousness of eating at your desk is American photographer Brian Finke for The New York Times Magazine earlier this year. Known for his bold, colour-saturated style of photography, like the bodybuilders we showed last year, here Brian manages to elevate the act of eating a sandwich next to a computer into a cinematic affair. Brashly lit with the focus solely on the eater and their lunch, never has a Tesco meal deal seemed so compelling.
“The series is a look at contemporary office lunches and I photographed a wide range of offices in the US from trading floors in New York City, TV production places in New Jersey, law firms in Chicago, tech companies in San Francisco and special effects studios in Los Angeles,” explains Brian. “I had complete freedom to shoot whatever people were eating and wherever they were around the offices.” Brian’s commission accompanied an article in The New York Times Magazine that dissected the phenomenon of desktop dining and the culture that’s formed around it.
A hotchpotch of classic office spaces are photographed with people eating an array of food ranging from greasy takeaways, limp homemade sandwiches, and shop-bought pasta pots, all with various foodie accoutrements like hot sauce, side salads and fruit cups. Throughout Brian captures the “wonderful awkwardness of people multitasking eating and working,” which is perfectly epitomised in one shot as a woman manages to simultaneously hold a slice of pizza while navigating her mouse. It’s these genuine moments that Brian has found that makes this series so brilliant: “I always feel one cannot make it up as great as it can be found, reality is the best,” says Brian.
- Watch Nicos Livesey explain how he made his embroidered BBC World Cup spot
- Photographer Niall McDiarmid travels from town to town to capture the essence of Britain
- Design studio Varv Varv's well-reasoned practice is an enquiry into "making things public"
- Radical Essex is a publication that aims to uproot the county’s misguided stereotypes
- Petrichor: a short film about snooker and mental health, beautifully packaged by Housework Press
- KangHee Kim's images are as satisfying to create as they are to look at
- “Create a flag which represents your own Island”: explore culture through design in our latest Insta brief
- Five creatives visually respond to the question: What makes something art, anyway?
- Plexopolis: a series of games to educate and inform students on accomplished design
- “Unporn” is the photo stock collection for those suggestive, naughty moments
- Chris Dorley-Brown’s sharp images of East London are actually made up of many multiple shots
- Suzanne Saroff's meticulously arranged photographs alter perceptions