Olive oil, chicken fat, balsamic vinegar, salt, peppercorns, white wine
Ginger ale, whiskey, clear ice
For New York-based photographer Adrian Mueller, cooking isn’t a chore or the means to an end but a creative playground in and of itself. For Bubbles, he teamed up with longtime collaborator and food stylist Takako Kuniyuki to capture the miniature worlds that unfold atop ordinary stoves around the world each and every day, when two or more ingredients collide.
In Mueller’s eyes, the hustle and bustle of daily life has a tendency to occlude the tiny instants of surprise and elegance that go unnoticed in the context of banal activities. How many times, he wonders, do we stop for a moment to recognize “ the beauty of a champagne bubble” before taking a sip?
The photographer had noticed serendipitous patterns, colors and shapes taking form throughout his various projects with Kuniyuki; the next logical step was to devote an entire series to these abstract, yet archetypal, constellations that appear across the surface of her frying pans and skillets. Bubbles was photographed in a kitchen studio, the beads and blisters of household items captured using available light and amplified with a strobe.
Since both Mueller and Kuniyuki came into Bubbles with a firm grasp on how certain elements interact with and merge with others, they were able to identify concoctions that would produce the most dynamic imagery, but the project was not without its fair share of unexpected revelations. Along the way, they encountered fortuitous combinations that yielded confounding—and eye-catching—results. Here, the duo hopes to use visuals to evoke other sensory responses, recalling overlooked aromas and flavors that saturate even the most familiar kitchen.
Red wine vinegar, olive oil
Vegetable oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce
Champagne and cayenne pepper
Red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar and olive oil
Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar and soy sauce
Rice vinegar & olive oil
All images © Adrian Mueller