Tanya Zouev

November 2018 to February 2019

Furthermore to my series of conceptual food images of fruit and vegetables entitled Pop Fruit and Pop Veg, I decided to shoot Pop Junk, a series about the junk food of our childhoods. I wanted to focus on the iconic foods that were childhood favourites of mine and so many other Gen X-ers in the 1970’s and 80’s, (though my son, born in 2009, loves some of these just as much which goes to show that they popular classics).

Cupcakes, doughnuts, icy poles and French fries, I hope to take the viewer on a journey of food nostalgia, back to a time when dieticians and nutritionists didn’t police every bite of cake or every sip of a spider from the local milk bar on a Friday afternoon after school.

I remember sucking on Peter’s lemonade icy-poles in the summer, stuffing fries into my mouth at McDonald’s whilst sitting at a brown plastic booth, and delighting in the crunch of the hundreds and thousands on the margarine coated fairy bread at a birthday party whilst us kids eyed off the chocolate crackles.

Once again utilising the focus stacking technique, this will be an ongoing series as I literally have dozens of different foods I want to photograph once again inspired by Andy Warhol and Co. And whilst I no longer eat most of these junky delights, I will occasionally dip my toe back into that era of culinary lawlessness and enjoy the sickly sweetness of it all.

Photography and retouching by Tanya Zouev | Food styling by Tanya Zouev and Jun Chen | All food prep by Jun Chen.