Retired restaurant health inspector photo exhibit is 'Other Dirty Show'

Image 1 of 5

One picture is like a mountain landscape of a floor in a school where mushrooms are growing through the floor.

Welcome to the world of Agnes Gira - a health inspector for the city of Detroit. For 25 years, she has shut down her share of dirty kitchens. 

She is also an artist - her favorite photos now on display - the exhibit - the "other" Dirty Show (the original Dirty Show is an erotica art show at the Russell Exhibition Center.)

"This is probably my favorite - it was the only time I ever swore at an inspection," she said, talking about the underside of a cutting board - Agnes says - at a place frequented by local media.

"And I found this and a bunch of media people much like yourself were eating in the downtown restaurant," she said.

Agnes took photographs - everywhere she went.

FOX 2: "What is that almost furry looking thing?"

"That is a dead mouse in a pizza oven," she said. "He said why are you worried - he's dead."

She took her share of toilet pictures - Agnes says you can tell a lot about a restaurant - by the restrooms.

FOX 2: "That's the employee toilet and they kept dogs in there?"

"They kept dogs in there at night," she said.

Then there's the one where they kept the mixer stored right next to the toilet bowl.

"These are the things you never see in the front," she said.

The list goes on of unsanitary conditions, food safety violations - and just plain - strange - like the blow up doll in a coney island freezer.

"Actually the cops brought him this blow up doll and he had it in an ice cream cooler," Agnes said. "I said get it out of there, Louie." 

Agnes doesn't tire of talking about it - she loved her job and has tremendous respect for health inspectors.

"If anyone sees a sanitarian inspector out there - they should thank them - these people work hard," she said.

She knows - it's work she did for more than two decades and now - to have that work on display at Detroit's famed Scarab Club - is a dream come true.

"I'm so glad the club let me do it - because it's a weird show you know," she said. "They could have said no - that's crazy - but they didn't."

In fact - the Scarab Club's executive director says it's been great and the other dirty show is getting a lot of attention.

"She really sees these kitchens with an artist's eye," said Maryann Wilkinson. "She's a trained photographer and it really comes through I think - so they're really kind of beautiful in a funny sort of way."

For more information go to