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Mark Menjivar  San Antonio, TX

'Carpenter/Photographer / San Antonio, TX / 3-person household / 12 point buck'
'Owner of defunct amusement park / Alpine, TX / 1-person household / Former WW II POW'

* All images used with permission. Please do not distribute without first contacting the artist.

About Mark

Mark Menjivar is an artist and photographer based in San Antonio, TX. His work explores diverse subjects through photography, stories and found objects while emphasizing dialogue and collaboration. Mark is also a member of Borderland Collective.

His work has been shown at venues across the country including The Houston Center for Photography, The San Antonio Museum of Art, The Wignall Museum of Art, The University of Wisconsin-­Milwaukee, Baylor University, The Southwest School of Art and Central Michigan University. Mark’s work has been featured by National Geographic, Artforum, TED, NPR, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Gastronomica, Orion Magazine, GUP Magazine and dozens more.

Mark explains the work by saying, “‘You Are What You Eat’ is a series of portraits made by examining the interiors of refrigerators in homes across the Untied States. For three years I traveled around the country exploring the issue of hunger. The more time I spent speaking and listening to individual stories, the more I began to think about the foods we consume and the effects they have on us as individuals and communities. An intense curiosity and questions about stewardship led me to begin to make these unconventional portraits. A refrigerator is both a private and a shared space. One person likened the question, “May I photograph the interior of your fridge”” to asking someone to pose nude for the camera. Each fridge is photographed “as is.” Nothing added, nothing taken away. These are portraits of the rich and the poor. Vegetarians, Republicans, members of the NRA, those left out, the under appreciated, former soldiers in Hitler’s SS, dreamers, and so much more. We never know the full story of one’s life. My hope is that we will think deeply about how we care. How we care for our bodies. How we care for others. And how we care for the land.”

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Mark appears in the following Top 10 lists




10 of 30 reactions displayed

"The refrigerator photos were interesting, refreshing (no pun intended) and held my attention until I was stopped short at one. Where all the other pieces listed an occupation, this piece simply said "disabled". What does that mean? Surely a person with a disability can also have an occupation. If not, how about "currently unemployed?" A person's disability hardly defines them. It made me very uncomfortable. Why not look a little deeper? That is art."

"I don't think this was very creative. Anyone can take a picture of the inside of a refridgerator. And anyone and put a story to a picture. I think that maybe if the picture was a collage of many different kinds of the insides of refridgerators, then maybe the article would make more sense and the picture wouldn't be so dull to look at."

"looks like my fridge"

"All head no heart - the blight of modern art."

"I thought these were great! Holy bottle of water batman! And the little blurbs under the photos... It really gave you an insight into these people's personal lives. Like looking into somoene's medicine cabinette."

"I know this isn't what you're going for, but this is what it looks like: You left your Photo I homework for the last minute, and took a quick photo of your fridge before leaving the apartment for class. The lighting is unimaginative, the scale is boring...perhaps either collecting a huge mass of different fridge photos will offer comparisons and some insightfulness."

"these are interesting. It might be more interesting to have the picture of their fridge with a picture of them. It might be to literal but i don't care. It's like those dogs that look like their owners, i can't get enough of those! Or when people look like objects, i love that."

"I think these photographs are alright, a nice change of pace...I only click on the "artist of the day" about twice a week and this was one of them... but it's been done before. In fact, I can name 3 other people (including myself) who have done this exact idea. The freezer is more interesting because of the mass amount of meat (large quantities of anything always gets some attention), but I wish the label on the alcohol bottle wasn't showing...nice composition though. I disagree with some, and think the lighting is pretty good. If you've ever photographed a fridge before you would know how difficult it is, many small shadows to deal with :D"

"These are really strange but I absolutely love them, the red meat and tequila one would be beautiful to print really big and frame on a wall."

"You bring up an interesting question, what is art? As it turns out we actually do know what it is. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica art is: ??A visual object or experience consciously created through an expression of skill or imagination.? According to that definition this falls into the category of art. Although the pictures may be of something normal or mundane, the fact that they are captured and presented to you makes them art. Just because these photos don??t agree with you personal aesthetic doesn??t mean you should impugn in any way the imagination or creativity of the artist. Furthermore, did you actually read the comments posted by the artist explaining the work? Even that didn??t spawn questions or thoughts? I certainly found the exhibit to be thought provoking."

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