Gregg Segal - Daily Bread
Exhibition from July 1st to September 26, 2020
In an 8 x 8 aluminium hut on a construction site outside Mumbai, Anchal Sahni sits down to dinner with her family: homemade aloo bhindo (okra and potatoes simmered in curry) and chapati (flatbread) with a side of lentils. Anchal has a healthier diet than many middle-class kids in India, who can afford to eat out.
In Mumbai, a medium Dominoes pizza runs 13 bucks – about 3 times what Anchal’s father earns a day. Sensing a sea change in Western attitudes about diet and the effects of junk food, fast food companies have begun investing heavily in foreign markets where public awareness isn’t as keen – and Big Macs aren’t junk – they’re a status symbol. In 2015, Cambridge University conducted an exhaustive study, identifying countries with the healthiest diets in the world. 9 of the top 10 countries are in Africa, where vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, grains are staples and meals are homemade, a stark contrast to the US where nearly 60% of the calories we consume come from ultra-processed foods and only 1% come from vegetables. As globalisation alters our relationship to food, I’m making my way around the world, asking kids to keep a journal of everything they eat in a week. Once the week is up, I make a portrait of the child with the food arranged around them. I’m focusing on kids because eating habits, which form when we’re young, last a lifetime and often pave the way to chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
This work was selected as a winning series for OpenWalls Arles 2020, a collaboration between the British Journal of Photography, 1854 Media and Galerie Huit Arles.
About the Artist
Gregg Segal studied photography and film at California Institute of the Arts (BFA) dramatic writing at New York University (MFA) and education at The University of Southern California (MA). Segal approaches his work with the sensibility of a sociologist – using the medium to explore culture – our identity, memory, behavior, roles, beliefs, and values. His photography utilizes stark contrast and juxtaposition to engage viewers and provoke reflection. He draws on his background in writing and film to make pictures that are single frame dramas with a sense of something that has or is about to happen. Segal’s photography has been recognized by American Photography, Communication Arts, PDN, Investigative Reporters and Editors, The New York Press Club, the Society of Publication Designers and the Magnum Photography Awards. Segal’s portraiture and photo essays have been featured in Time, Newsweek, The Independent, Le Monde, Stern, Fortune, National Geographic Adventure and Wired, among others.