Contemporary Pieces: Combining Renaissance and Fast Food Culture by Photographer Rebecca Rütten

by . January 14th, 2015

As someone who enjoyed the Renaissance period during art history classes, seeing German photographer Rebecca Rütten’s series, Contemporary Pieces, reminded me of my school days and my meal of choice back then. Rütten’s Contemporary Pieces combines the Renaissance painting aesthetics like of Jan van Eyck and the sumptuous but certainly unhealthy fast food. The series is a cheeky and inviting piece on Renaissance paintings with a focus on fast food culture.



According to Rütten, Contemporary Pieces was inspired by the drama, eroticism, and charisma of paintings during the Renaissance Period and how Italian and Dutch painters dealt with middle and lower classes during the Late Renaissance. She said: “In the Late Renaissance, Italian and Dutch painters dealt with the middle and lower classes. In my opinion, Fast Food Culture represents these two social classes in the United States today. To eat healthy is expensive. However, one can buy large amounts of food at a fast food restaurant for a comparatively low price.”

Below is a video of her Exhibition at Karussell back in May 2014:


Just like how Caravaggio sought help from laborers, gypsies, and prostitutes to be his models for his paintings, Rutten decided to ask her friends to be the models in her photos. She stated in her page: “I like the fact that my friends in these photographs have tattoos and piercings. It underlines the concept that they are ‘Children of the Modern Age,’ having been brought up in the changing America, often defined by the culture of Fast Food.”

Contemporary Pieces series is comprised of 5 portraits and 5 still-life photographs. The series wonderfully presents to its audience an array of social issues with humor injected in it.

What do you folks think of Rebecca Rütten’s Contemporary Pieces? Tell us your thoughts at the comments below! You can also take a look at her other works here.