Mark Menjivar is a San Antonio-based photographer who explores “diverse subjects through photography, stories and found objects while emphasizing dialogue and collaboration.” And as promised by his heady biography, he’s inspired some pretty interesting conversation around his latest project. Refrigerator artfully, often dramatically, captures the essence of the American diet — and how differently people around the country consume their daily calories.

Over the course of the project, Menjivar photographed 80 anonymous refrigerators, only providing the owner’s brief biographical information. There’s the delicatessen attendant from Alabama with a large pot of stewed meat and off-brand Dr. Pepper. The only information given is the chilling fact that the owners was “disowned by parents because of her interracial marriage.” There are images of a do-gooder documentary filmmaker stocking pricy craft beers and the middle school teacher making the switch to “eat local” — her ice box is packed with greenery. 

“With each photograph, there is a little bit of information about the owner — just enough to be a starting place for the imagination,” Menjivar tells Splendid Table host Lynne Rossetto Kasper in an interview. Below are a few images, and a stream of the full interview. You can visit the photographer’s website for more information about his fascinating cultural studies. His prints are also available for purchase via 20 x 200. 

Owner of closed amusement park


Midwife/middle school science teacher