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In A Collaboration With Kelsey McClellan, Michelle Maguire Pays Homage To Her Italian American Roots

Posted by on January 25, 2018 | Photographer Interviews

Some families watch television after a meal. Others disperse to their own rooms. In stylist Michelle Maguire’s extended Italian-American family, everyone watched her grandfather build precarious towers out of whatever was on hand.

“There was my grandpa’s usual dinner-party balancing act, grabbing any remaining post-meal items from the table, and then building his own Leaning Tower of Pisa – my grandma, her siblings, and their spouses whistling him on with great delight,” Maguire says.

Based in Canton, Ohio, her family was, she notes, a “beautiful and boisterous crew.”

Maguire pays homage to her roots in Towers, a series she created with photographer Kelsey McClellan. In the work, she recreates her grandfather’s spontaneous sculptures using items that recall her “rich and colorful childhood”—rosaries, biscotti, oranges, salt and pepper shakers, and Busch beer cups.

Maguire and McClellan frequently collaborate under the moniker Terrence Caviar. Together they create clever, often hilarious, tableaus about food for clients including Bon Appétit.

Below are photographs from Towers, along with an image of Maguire’s grandfather. All images are styled by Michelle Maguire and photographed by Kelsey McClellan.

A photograph of Maguire’s grandpa in action (Canton, Ohio, 1980).

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