My good pal and office mate Myriam Babin is an interior and travel photographer, who branched out a year and a half ago into the blogging business. Her blog New York Kitchen shows her photographs depicting the hustle-bustle and set-up of New York City’s restaurant kitchens. Addressing the inherent frustration that comes from seeing delicious food on a computer screen while sitting in an apartment with a fridge that has nothing but expired condiments, Myriam decided to stage an art event called “On The Line” where you can see her photography as well as taste the food from some of the restaurants shown in the images. So what better time to have a little interview with the New York Kitchenette herself.
Dirk Anschütz: First things first: How did you get started in photography?
Myriam Babin: Originally I thought I wanted to be a painter, but after taking a few classes I came to the realization that it was not meant to be. I hated waiting for the paint to dry. So I started taking photography classes during my second year in art school and was instantly hooked.
DA: How did you get into the profession?
MB: After college I did several cross country road trips and did a photographic series of motel rooms as an art project. That’s when I became really interested in interior photography. I had a solo show of the motel images at Elizabeth Cherry Contemporary Art in Tucson, AZ, where I lived briefly, and a German editor came to see my show – we had met at Art Santa Fe where I had some work. He hired me to shoot some fashion spreads in upscale hotels for German Cosmo and then for GQ Germany. Then I started showing my book around and a French correspondent for Vogue France assigned me to shoot hotels, boutiques, and restaurants in New York where I had moved back to in the meantime. I started shooting travel photography when this writer became the editor in chief of Air France Madame and brought me along. At Air France Madame I had the chance to shoot travel, interiors – and restaurants – all over the world.
DA: What made you start your blog New York Kitchen.
MB: I live in New York and I wanted to have a project that would have me shooting interiors locally on a regular basis, while giving me visibility in this town that I just didn’t get from being published in Europe. The reason that I picked restaurant kitchens is that they’re utilitarian spaces that nonetheless display a vibrant culture, especially in a food-crazed town like New York. And of course it’s exciting to have the opportunity to see behind the scenes of places where I might love to eat.
DA: What equipment do you use?
MB: I shoot with a Canon 5D with a 24-105 lens. I shoot the establishing shots on a tripod and the details and action shots handheld, using available light for everything.
DA: So tell me about the upcoming event.
MB: The idea is to bring the blog to life, to bring it from virtual to actual. George Uenishi from Digital Plus (a fine printing and mounting place in Gowanus, that did the mounting for The Sultans exhibit I had earlier this year. DA) asked me if I wanted to create a show for the 411 gallery, an exhibition space that’s adjacent and connected to the Digital Plus workshop. I started thinking about how I could create something more than just a photography exhibit. I liked the idea of giving the viewers a chance to not only see images of food being created, but also to experience it. Often times a gallery space can be austere, almost sacred. For this event I want to turn it into something more lively, so I asked restaurants that I’ve photographed if they would be interested in providing food for the event and quite a few were really into the idea. During the show’s opening Market Table, El Quinto Pino, Txikito, Gramercy Tavern, and Chef Gregory Torrech (formerly of Brown and Sixth Street Kitchen) will be serving up their food, some of which will be cooked on the premises.
DA: How has the blog affected you business so far?
MB: I’ve met lots of people including my fiancé who is a chef, and some new clients who have hired me to shoot their restaurants and menu updates.
DA: Thanks a lot for the interview and good luck with “On The Line”.
411 Gallery @ Digital Plus
411 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11215
To RSVP for the event Click here: www.eventbrite.com/event/2275959456