Dinah Fried's Fictitious Dishes at Rare Device


For our October gallery show we are thrilled to present Dinah Fried's Fictitious Dishes photo series. Fried, a New York, NY-based designer, was interested in looking at how we relate to literature through food and undertook to recreate some of literature's most iconic meals. Her meticulously crafted photos range in their representations of literary meals, from the classic gruel scene in Oliver Twist to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to Kafka's The Metamorphis. Fried has said that she spent hours hunting down the perfect fork or tablecloth in order that a scene would come together as clearly as possible.

As for her inspiration for the series, Fried says, "Reading and eating are natural companions, and they’ve got a lot in common. Reading is consumption. Eating is consumption. Both are comforting, nourishing, restorative, relaxing, and mostly enjoyable...Just as reading great novels can transport you to another time and place, meals — good and bad ones alike — can conjure scenes very far away from your kitchen table. Some of my favorite meals convey stories of origin and tradition; as a voracious reader, I devour my favorite books."

The photos are crisp, colorful, and taken from above, allowing the viewer to be transported into the experience of the meal. Many of the meals are immediately recognizable, such as Oliver Twist's watery gruel, Ishmael's candlelit chowder, and Gatsby's sumptuous Art-Deco spread, while others, like Holden Caulfield's cheese sandwich and malted from Catcher in the Rye, might require closer study, but when recognition hits it's extremely satisfying. 


From Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


From The Catcher in the Rye


From The Great Gatsby

Fictitious Dishes will be up at Rare Device Divisadero from October 1 to November 2. Framed and unframed prints will be available for purchase in-store and online, along with copies of Fried's book Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature's Most Memorable Meals