The Photographer Transforming Fruit into Fantasy

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Hairy ApplePhotography by Sarah Illenberger

Sarah Illenberger's joyous photographs are currently on show (and for sale) at Modern Society

Berlin-based artist Sarah Illenberger has a tendency to gravitate towards the organic when it comes to her playful still life photography. And while previous photo-series Wonderplants saw Illenberger decorating the leaves of various plants with neon tape and stickers before shooting them, her latest project is a study of food.

Tutti Frutti depicts fruit and vegetables (and, in one instance, a fish head) fashioned into joyous, illusory still lifes. “It’s mostly about finding a metaphor for the various fruits and vegetables,” Illenberger explains. “Cherries that often seem to appear like thrown die; the anatomy of an apple which resembles the shape of hair exploding out of a ponytail; chillies the shape of a flame.” The same lighthearted detail is intrinsic to Illenberger’s fruit rind rainbow and baseball cap-shaped melon, both of which are set against pleasing blue backdrops.

The series has been ongoing series since 2012, and it seems that Illenberger will continue to seek out these symbolic yet lighthearted still lifes in foodstuffs she encounters in the future. Plus, she admits, the photographs have started to become “more pop and glamorous”. Tutti Frutti, along with another ongoing series, is currently being exhibited at Shoreditch store Modern Society. All prints on display are for sale, should you wish to inject some of Illenberger’s delightful art into your life permanently. And why wouldn't you? Her images inspire contrasting sensory reactions; the cigarette held to the sky, for example, is a crisp study despite its gently smoking end, while the aforementioned hairy apple is oddly discombobulating. “Food and hair are not usually the best companions, but in such a stylised way, it seems to work well,” Illenberger offers. We're inclined to agree.

Sarah Illenberger’s photographs are on display and for sale at Modern Society until October, 2017.