Jonathan Blaustein The Value of a Dollar

onedollarsworthofbasmatiricefromWholeFoods

one dollar's worth of organic basmati rice from Whole Foods

onedollarsworthofbeefshankfromSupersave

one dollar's worth of beef shank from Supersave

onedollarsworthofcandynecklacesfromChina

one dollar's worth of candy necklaces from China

onedollarsworthofchickeneggsfromafactoryfarminTexas

one dollar's worth of chicken eggs from a factory farm in Texas

onedollarsworthofconventionalgrapefruitfromSupersave

one dollar's worth of conventional grapefruit from supersave

onedollarsworthofdoublecheeseburgerfromMcDonalds

one dollar's worth of doublecheeseburger from mcdonalds

onedollarsworthofdriedsmelt

one dollar's worth of dried smelt

onedollarsworthofduckeggfromthefarmersmarket

one dollar's worth of local duck egg from the farmer's market

onedollarsworthofearlyseasonorganicblueberriesfromCalifornia

one dollar's worth of early season organic blueberries from California

onedollarsworthofescargotfromIndonesia

one dollar's worth of escargot from Indonesia

onedollarsworthoffeungreekseedsfromIndia

one dollar's worth of fenugreek seeds from India

onedollarsworthoffriedpigskin

one dollar's worth of fried pig skin

onedollarsworthoflard

one dollar's worth of lard

onedollarsworthoflocalquaileggs

one dollar's worth of local quail eggs

onedollarsworthoflocalsquashblossoms

one dollar's worth of local squash blossoms

onedollarsworthoforganicgrapefruitfromthenaturalfoodstore

one dollar's worth of organic grapefruit from the natural food store

onedollarsworthofoscarmeyerchickenchunks

one dollar's worth of pre-packaged Oscar Mayer chicken chunks

onedollarsworthofpankobreadcrumbsfromJapan

one dollar's worth of panko breadcrumbs from Japan

onedollarsworthofpeachfromthefarmersmarket

one dollar's worth of peach from the farmer's market

onedollarsworthofporkfloss

one dollar's worth of pork floss

onedollarsworthofpottedmeatfoodproduct

one dollar's worth of potted meat food product

onedollarsworthofsaffron

one dollar's worth of saffron

onedollarsworthofshrimpflavoredramennoodles

one dollar's worth of shrimp flavored ramen noodles

onedollarsworthofShurfineflour

one dollar's worth of shurfine flour

onedollarsworthofShurfinewhitebread

one dollar's worth of shurfine white bread

onedollarsworthofsidesaladwithranchdressingfromBurgerKing

one dollar's worth of side salad with ranch dressing from Burger King

onedollarsworthofteabiscuitsfromSpain

one dollar's worth of tea biscuits from Spain

onedollarsworthoftomatillosfromMexico

one dollar's worth of tomatillos from Mexico

 

Since 2008, on the eve of the Great Recession, I’ve used the same artist statement for “The Value of a Dollar.” So why not change things up?

It’s fair to say I was intrigued at the idea of using food as a visual language through which I could examine important issues in the 21st Century. Chief among them was whether healthy food has become a luxury item, (10 blueberries for a buck?) and whether certain elements of the Globalized Economy make any sense at all? (48 Spanish tea biscuits shipped across the planet for $1?)

The pictures have managed to creep into a wider consciousness, which is great. Deep down, though, I still wonder why people buy all those Big Macs, when they know they’re being duped by crafty, well-paid adverstisers in high-rise buildings.

 

All images © courtesy of Jonathan Blaustein

www.jonathanblaustein.com