Christopher Boffoli does not, he insists, have a god complex. "But certainly there is a god-like feeling involved with manipulating environments and people that are smaller than yourself," he admits.
"As children, we spend heaps of time playing with toys that are smaller than we are, while at the same time we're living in an adult world that is out of scale with our own bodies, and in which food, fashion and sleep schedules are imposed upon us by our parents. So the issue of scale juxtaposition as it relates to a sense of control is something we deal with from an early age. It helps us reconcile the world's tendency for chaos."
Even with his godlike feeling, however, the American photographer admits that each image in his Big Appetites series – for which he creates humorous tableaux involving fresh food and injection-moulded miniature figures – can be a "frustrating, tedious process". "The figures are tiny, while the food is often moist and soft, so they never seem to want to stay where I intend."
As for how he devises his scenes – which range from a man mowing the rind off an orange to divers preparing to explore a cup of Earl Grey – he says the state of the food often assists in "distilling a context". As here, with a piece he captions "If they'd only realized that the killer was right there in the crowd": "Some squashed berries gave me the idea for a victim and a crime scene." The first in a series of CSI: Fruit Bowl, perhaps?
'Big Appetites' will be published by Workman Books on 1 October, priced £8.99. Boffoli will sign books at a one-night exhibition of the series at 20th Century Theatre, London W11, in October (20thcenturytheatre.com)