original article here.
It was customary, in pre-modern Europe, to grant condemned death-row inmates a last meal before their demise. This action was highly symbolic and was believed to be done in an act of superstition to ask for forgiveness to the executioner, the judge and witnesses and absolve any potential acts of vengeance.
Regardless of your opinion on the death penalty, this post, though potentially appetizing to some will turn your stomachs upside-down. The very talented Henry Hargreaves has come up with an eye-opening, yet haunting series of photos documenting death-row inmates last meal requests.
In a recent interview with Indulgd.com we asked…
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a self taught photographer living in Brooklyn originally from New Zealand. My work seems to touch on 4 main themes – food, bright colors, childhood nostalgia and breasts!
What first inspired you to take these shots?
After hearing about the abolishment of the last meal in Texas I read up on what inmates actually requested. As I read about their food tastes it humanized them for a moment in my mind and brought the gravity and unnatural practice of state sponsored executions.
What has been people’s reactions to your work?
I mainly hear the compliments but I’m sure it’s not everyones cup of tea.
What is your personal favorite photo that you have taken?
I’m always looking toward the next photo.
What was the eeriest meal in your opinion?
Ricky Ray Rector when he told the guard he was saving his pie for later. Rector was mentally disabled so I feel he had no idea of what was about to happen to him.
What projects have you been currently working on?
Just finished a series of Gingerbread Art Galleries that were shown at Art Basel and will be exhibited in NY on Wednesday at Dylan’s Candy.