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Robert Kaufman′s Edibles Calendar Turns 30
Look, but don′t eat

It's not a simple task to make ordinary food look extraordinary. But, then again, Robert Kaufman is no ordinary photographer. A student of art history, the close-up of kohlrabi on his latest calendar is heavily shaded, not unlike the chiaroscuro found in many images of Caravaggio. The red peppers are so ripe you feel like you're jumping into one of Cezanne's still-lives. And those supple blueberries, oh so sensual, evoke the feel of Renoir. The appeal is immediate, inviting the viewer to take a closer look. This interaction continues to tease and tantalize, as Kaufman's images have been gracing the walls of people's homes for three decades.

Twelve light-strewn images of nature's bounty adorn the pages of the new 30th anniversary edition of Edibles , the award-wining calendar by Kaufman and Silver Visions Publishing Co. Debuting in 1978 as the very first calendar to exclusively feature fruit and vegetable photography, this month's release of Edibles '08 will perpetuate the series' reign as a favorite among fine art enthusiasts and foodies alike.

To create the raw color images that comprise Edibles , Kaufman uses neither food stylists nor artificial lighting. Rather, he insists upon the power and strength of the fruits and vegetables themselves, viewing his subjects simply for what they are and working in concert with their unique characteristics.

"Food is such a universal theme, and people seem to forget that it's something they literally put directly into their bodies," says Kaufman. "Now that's intimacy, and that's the connection I am trying to recreate."

While Kaufman's independent study of food photography sparked his imagination, his idea for a calendar did not come to fruition until a stint in California introduced the artist to farmers markets and revealed the plethora of produce available to him. The result has been a striking collection of images and a calendar that has earned accolades from the likes of NBC's Today Show, among others.

With a degree in business and no formal art training, Kaufman is an unlikely photography pioneer. Yet, not only was he the first to create a calendar filled with produce—from cherries to broad beans to bananas—he was also one of the first to develop photographic greeting cards. This forward thinking combined with a childhood spent in his father's darkroom seem to be all Kaufman needed for success on his own terms. In 1980, along with wife Betty, he took control of the creative process with the formation of Silver Visions, which has published millions of pieces of Kaufman's work.

"I figured there could be no better way to get my work out there than through this continuous flow of images that a calendar provides," says Kaufman. "To know that some people have had my photography hanging in their kitchens for thirty years—that's a pretty powerful thing."

The 30th anniversary edition of Edibles is priced at $12.99 and is available at SilverVisions.com. Kaufman is available for interviews, and copies of the calendar and high-resolution photos are available to the media; contact +1 617-244-9504 or bkaufmani@aol.com.

Publication date: 10/22/2007


 


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