“Fresh Faces” is a collaboration between Brooklyn based photographer Emily Dryden and sculptor and actress Zahydé Pietri. Inspired by the diversity of color and shape in nature,
we created a cast of vibrant characters to reflect our observations. The series combines sculpture and photography to highlight and preserve their charm while still in their prime.
“Fresh Faces” was born from our shared interest in starting a conversation about diversity with our work. There was also a desire to collaborate on a project that combined and highlighted our strengths and talents as artists from different backgrounds that work in different disciplines. Emily brought a blending of portraiture and food photography and Zahydé brought the sculptural aspect from her theater and mask making background. We very much wanted to do a strong color story, but more than that we wanted to create strong characters. We wanted them all to feel unique and to have varied genders and colors. We wanted to highlight an array of personalities because we wanted to promote that concept of diversity. The choice of using fruits, vegetables and botanicals was also very specific because it plays into that overall idea, but in this case diversity in our food systems. Zahydé would create the sculptures by looking at the “ingredients” and letting the colors and textures guide her until she found that one feature that would give the face his or her character, and build around that. We would then transfer the Faces to the black set. Emily used only natural light to shoot. Because we worked with entirely fresh fruits, vegetables and botanicals we had to work very quickly to capture each face before the produce would expire or wilt. Overall, we are reacting against a culture that promotes cultural homogenization and agricultural homogenization.
“Fresh Faces” won second place at the International Photography Awards in the category of Professional Advertising, Food and has been featured in the online galleries Faith is Torment, Moments Journal, Food & Wine, Beautiful Lands, the Portuguese online publication P3 and the French photography blog Graine De Photographe.