The first hint that this isn’t a run-of-the-mill photographer, is on her website: Jasmin Schuller, it says, Visual Entertainer. It’s as if she’s declaring straight off that, while her technique may be impeccable and her images unforgettable, her work isn’t to be considered too precious or serious. Born in Ganz, Austria, she only began her full-fledged career as a photographer in 2007, after working for years as a graphic designer after working as a graphic designer. And her penchant for creating an immediate impact is part of what defines her work. That, and the extraordinary settings she uses for her shots, the breaking of all aesthetic moulds and social conventions.
And the work that has gotten some of the most attention, is a project called “Sweet Meat”, which she executed in May of 2011. At first glance, it seems to be a succession of succulent desserts, but the reality is actually quite different. For her ice creams, sundaes, cakes and popsicles, she used blood, animal parts and 5 kilos of meat. Her aim was to charm, provoke and make people think.
«One day my former vegan roommate presented a ‘turkey’ made out of tofu,» she explains when asked about her inspiration. «It surprised me, but it’s where the idea for this series came from». She used a range of hand tools – not only kitchen utensils – to shape these carnal ingredients into tempting, mouth-watering sweets. «The ice cream sundae,» she explains, «is made from various minced meats, then covered in grease ‘cream’, and topped with a ‘cherry’, which was carved from a pig's heart. The cherry syrup is actually blood.» Shooting these dishes using the techniques of the most skilled photographer was a way to gently “trick” viewers into having conflicting reactions. If you can’t decide whether you’re horrified or hungry, she’s done her job.