Chefs in their essence

Pop-up Atlanta Gallery Collective features Erik Tanner's stark portraits of James Beard Award-winning chefs

Kicking off this past weekend, Ponce City Market hosts Atlanta Gallery Collective, a pop-up art exhibition celebrating some of the formative members of Atlanta's food scene. The flagship exhibit, a series of portrait photographs captured by Brooklyn-based photographer Erik Tanner, features James Beard Award-winning and nominated chefs and mixologists from the Southeast. Featured in the series are Atlanta-based chefs Linton Hopkins, Hugh Acheson, Greg Best, Asha Gomez, Meherwan Irani, Hector Santiago, and more.

It comes as no surprise that Tanner was approached to photograph this year's cast of food industry stars. The award-winning photographer's resume includes covers for TIME Magazine and Japanese Vogue and shoots with Aziz Ansari and Radiohead, and his approach to portrait photography goes beyond preparing the subject and snapping a shot. "I like to ask a lot of questions," Tanner says. "When they move and pause during conversation, I try and catalog those movements so when we're shooting, I can pull from that."

The sense of honesty that appears in so much of Tanner's work is imbued into the Ponce City Market series. Each portrait highlights not only each subject's celebrity, but their character as well. Tanner says his choice to do away with color and context reflects his desire for viewers to understand the subject outside the context of their craft. "I strive for something that feels honest," he says. "I'd like the viewers to feel some sort of connection to the subjects, more than connecting with the work itself."

Atlanta Gallery Collective will remain at Ponce City Market through the holidays, and will feature contemporary works from ten of Atlanta's top art galleries, selected by Atlanta gallerist Spalding Nix of Spalding Nix Fine Art. Tanner's portrait series will be located on the second floor of Ponce City Market's Central Food Hall. The gallery is free to visit and open to the public Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday from 12-6 p.m. All works are available for purchase, and proceeds from Tanner's work go to the James Beard Foundation.

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