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Hot caterer HeirloomLA opens new tasting room - The Salon - featuring Autumn de Wilde's pig slaughter photos on the wall

Autumn de Wilde

They might switch them out when the bride-to-be's family and friends come in to sample wedding food, but otherwise, the pig slaughter photos are front and center at HeirloomLA's new venue, The Salon.

It helps that they're not too graphic, and that they're by Autumn de Wilde, who's done album covers for The White Stripes, Wilco, Beck, and Monsters of Folk, and who documents couture designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte.

It also helps that they fit with Heirloom's ethos: you ought to know where your food comes from, and that it was raised humanely, and harvested right. Potatoes don't look like Pringles, and pigs don't look like chili dogs.

De Wilde's photo shoot started as a simple trip with her Heirloom friends, including co-owner Matthew Poley, to a farm in Napa. She decided to shoot some photos and didn't find out that there was going to be a pig slaughter until a couple days in. Poley says he did tell her, but he said "harvest" and she didn't quite understand. But, de Wilde knew that as a photographer, she should document what she saw.

What strikes you about her photos of the dead pig is not so much the reality of its death, but the similarities it shares with her other photos, ones of plants at the farm. The way, for example, the deep red of a beet green's veins matches the pig's blood, or how plant roots resemble to intestines.

De Wilde says, "Everything is beautiful and everything is disgusting ... and I like to look at my city that way, the ugly parts and the beautiful parts, and see beauty in the disgusting. It's part of what I do as a photographer.

The Salon is at 4126 Verdugo Road LA CA 90065.


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