Meet the Photographer Behind Lucky Peach’s Latest Cover

Christopher Boffoli snaps toy figurines and real-life food for his "Big Appetites" series.

  • "They all knew Albert had been 4F. But his elaborately invented war stories helped to stave off the boredom of retirement."
  • "The headspace that the sugar cone tent afforded didn’t really make up for its lack of rain performance."
  • "If they’d only realized that the killer was right there in the crowd."
  • "It was the first cookie climb with neither sherpas nor supplemental oxygen."
  • "It was so like Patty. Right idea. Wrong execution."
  • "Right on cue, Phillipe stepped forward to take all of the credit."
  • "Gary always used too much mustard. But no one could say so. It was a union thing."

Many will recognize Christopher Boffoli as the mastermind behind Lucky Peach‘s distinctive Travel Issue cover, but the photographer has been in the game for quite some time. Over the course of a decade of designing his distinctive images that combine miniature humans with ordinary food items in inventive landscapes, Boffoli has had several solo shows in New York, published a book, and accumulated a collection of thousands of 20-millimeter figurines.

In a great interview today with Sierra Tishgart of Grub Street, Boffoli describes his clever photos, which come with their own wise-cracking captions, as not just entertainment but also a commentary on Americans’ obsessions with portion control, cheap food, and “food spectatorship” (see: Instagram). Boffoli plans and builds landscapes that juxtapose comparatively massive foods, from Milano cookies to stacks of meringues, with tiny figurines acting out situations ranging from rice farming to fire fighting.

The captions add a dimension of wry humor to Boffoli’s work. The viewer is told a custodian applying mustard to a hot dog “always uses too much,” but “it’s a union thing”; a group of kids scaling the aforementioned Milano have never made the climb “with neither sherpas nor supplemental oxygen” before. The end product walks the thin line between humorous and serious, all while looking visually stunning and downright tasty to boot.

Click through the gallery above for a look at Boffoli’s work, then check out his interview over at Grubstreet.

All photos and captions via Christopher Boffoli.

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