Giorgio Cravero is an Italian photographer who has combined food photography with social criticism, producing a series of surreal images that metaphorically explore environmental degradation and the perseverance of nature. The color seeping from each fruit and vegetable represents humankind’s brutal exploitation of natural resources, as our unsustainable practices seek to strip nature of its very essence. In a vampiric fashion, like lifeblood drained from a body, the fruits and veggies blacken where the color filters down. However, hope remains, as the top holds its pigment. As Cravero explains:
“Men are poison for the earth. […] Nature will outlive us: in the fruit and toxic vegetables, where color slides away, there’s the upper part which firmly holds the color of life. Do we really think that we can make a difference? Do we really think, in the age of technology, that we can lay down mankind’s law to the extent that we dominate the law of nature?” (Source)
At the core of Cravero’s series is a message about the inevitable pitfalls of human arrogance. As our technological capacities have increased, so has our pride, and so we manufacture our own destruction. “The blackened chicory, the abandoned carrots are the clear images that, okay, we needed a knife to tear the meat off our prey, therefore we are technical beings for survival,” he writes, explaining where the inflated sense of confidence and self-importance came from, “but Earth had also imposed on us to be humble.” Cravero maintains that, for us, this is a fatal type of arrogance, but nature itself will survive in some form. “Nature defeats us in silence, or in any case, it will stay here for longer than us, it will be run-down, but it will still be there. […] Nature doesn’t give a damn about our pain or our profit logic” (Source).