Oddly Compelling Photographs of Airline Meals

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Airline MealsCourtesy of Joachim Schmid

Artist Joachim Schmid never fails to see the beauty in others' strange memorabilia, including, but not limited to, the bizarre culinary concoctions served aboard airplanes

Airline food might not leave lasting memories of gastronomic ecstasy, but there’s no denying there’s a certain kind of formal beauty to be found in the boxed meals’ presentation. They’re like an uncanny interpretation of our earth-bound food: vivid golden microwaved omelettes come complemented by tubular latex meats, with everything punctuated by the occasional sad fruit salad, and then there’s the familiar hoard of individually wrapped oddities and strange, squat cups alongside. These meals are a kitsch design dream, and – whether you’re over Manchester or Malaysia – each is an intriguing variation on the same memorable theme.

Artist Joachim Schmid collected countless images of these mile-high meals, as part of his impressive ongoing photographic project Other People's Photographs, creating a breed of photography we didn’t know existed. Placed in rows, the neat, compartmentalised trays and glossy breads become all the more appealing to the eyes, if not to the palate. Throughout his career Schmid has focused on gathering found images, whether they're dropped in the street or uploaded online, collecting and categorising posts from Flickr to create compelling collections which turn the mundane into something altogether more interesting. Airline Meals is just one of a multitude of groups born out of the artist’s desire to find visual patterns. Through cleavage, coffee, currywurst and beyond, the result is an encyclopaedic exploration into the way we see the world – and an unexpected delight.

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