Food & dining

Modern art is baloney

Leah Netsky

Some people think modern art is baloney. But Cambridge photographer Leah Netsky’s work really is baloney. Also, salami, prosciutto, chorizo, bacon, and other processed meats. These are Netsky’s medium in her photography show, “Meat Stacks,” at Gallery 263 in Cambridge (through Nov. 7). The photographs feature images of deli meat arranged by Newton native Netsky, 25, who describes the show as “a symbolic look at order and mass-production. “It just struck me one day that certain processed foods, especially luncheon meat, have the appearance of being almost materials, not food,” says Netsky. They have very bright colors and very clean shapes. They reminded me of office supplies.” Inspired, she composed photos of meats which she’d stapled, stacked, hole-punched, folded, arranged in a grid, even embroidered (Netsky’s “Sewn,” pictured above). “I always had the feeling that processed foods just weren’t as healthy,” she said. “They have things removed from them. They have things added to them.” Still, she was surprised at the synchronicity of the recent announcement from the World Health Organization that processed meats can be carcinogenic. “That was crazy timing,” says Netsky. “I don’t know if it will have an effect on people’s reactions [to the show], but it obviously does validate the whole concept.” (For more about the exhibit, see review Page G11.) “Meat Stacks” at Gallery 263, 263 Pearl St., Cambridge, LINDA MATCHAN

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