Published September 18, 2009 by Graham
Art as food. Simple idea, brilliant execution. Photographer Megan Fizell has been cooking up exquisite edible adaptations of classic still lifes and sculptures, blogging her culinary experiments in glorious detail over at Feasting on Art. Under her capable hands, Van Gogh’s Red Poppies and Daisies becomes lemon poppyseed bread with blueberry honey butter. Fernando Botero’s juicy watermelon still life is a zesty watermelon margarita.
Even Jeff Koons gets the treatment, his cast-iron moustache sculpture naturally transforming into a crunchy mostaccioli cookie. While few of the resulting foods bear much resemblance to their fine art forebearers, the art-themed spin on this tidy cooking blog is a clever hook that keeps us coming back for more. And the mouth-watering photographs don’t hurt, either.
Published August 26, 2009 by Molly
A few weeks ago we featured the inimitable Edith Zimmerman as an examplar of high-concept food trickery. Well, it turns out there’s more than one way to impart human characteristics onto vegetables!
Meet Vanessa Dualib, a 29 year-old Brazilian artist and photographer living and working in São Paulo. Her book, “Playing With Food”, documents the mind-expanding convergence of her three favorite things: food, photography, and humor. Get a comprehensive preview at Vanessa’s Flickr page, and read on for a micro-questionnaire.
Hey Vanessa! What do you like about working with food?
The possibilities! Truly. They are absolutely endless! I honestly tell people that there are some fruits and veggies in this world that are ‘born’ to be something else. It’s not really how I look at them, but more of how they look at me.
Do you work in other media too?
Currently I am focusing on photography– I still have a lot to learn. And most important of all, I’m still trying to convince my mom that what I do can be considered a form of art. The last time she saw me photographing one of my creations she looked at me with that familiar disapproving look and said “I sure hope you plan on eating that once you’re done playing with it…”
Yes, mom. I will.
Have you read “Where The Wild Things Are”?
I was pretty young when I first read Sendak’s book and it was totally different from anything else I had ever seen or read. The illustrations blew my mind and there was also this other ‘thing’ about this book, something that only later on my life I could define better. And that was actually that for me the essence of WTWTA lies in the genuine ability of the book to portray the feelings and fears of a child…
What are your favorite foods to work with?
Fruits and veggies. Any kind. I got a soft spot for eggs too. By now all my friends are very likely getting nervous when they invite me to lunch or dinner at a public place… probably thinking “Oh my… if she makes the olives talk to the waiter again I’m never going to invite her for lunch ever again!!”
Published August 25, 2009 by Molly
It’s the trope that never dies. Humans are eternally stoked to find that things aren’t what they seem. Trompe-l’œil is appealing in any format, whether it be 17th century Viennese frescoes, t-shirts printed to look like tuxedos, meatloaf designed to look like birthday cake or candles crafted to resemble sushi.*
What happens when you combine eye-trickery with wit and a nod to sustainable design? Strictly 21-st century inventions like the We Are Happy To Serve You cup (above left), a no-nonsense ceramic vessel that replicates the classic NYC deli cup.
Unlike the disposable originals, the faux-cup has a solid weight to it, and it’s fun to register the surprise when you hand it to a friend who expects the flimsy paper original.
On a similar tip there’s also MoMA’s tote bag (above right), a sturdy item designed to look exactly like Charles Stillwell’s Flat Bottomed Brown Paper Grocery Bag, which he patented in 1883. Up close MoMA’s bag is made of synthetic material, but from afar it looks like an oddly supple grocery bag. Carry it as your own personal secret–an illusion to reveal to the chosen few.
*We’re using a loose definition of trompe-l’œil, here. You know what we mean.
Published August 11, 2009 by Graham
Does anyone lay claim to the knowledge of all the Peanuts-related merchandise ever created? Someone knows. Someone out there has that information in their mind. We’d have to track them down and ask them, but something tells me the Peanuts Cook Book has got to be in the top ten raddest peripheral objects ever derived from the imagination of Charles Schulz. Recipes include:
Lucy’s Lemon Squares
Great Pumpkin Cookies
Security Cinnamon Toast
Charlie Brown’s Mother’s Buttered Oven-Potatoes
Paula Deen who? It’s all about Lucy with her Divine Divinity and Snoopy’s Steak Tartar. Found via Kitsch’n.
Published July 3, 2009 by Molly
The McSweeney’s website is, depending on your inclinations, a limitless trove of fun things to read or an intimidating morass of text. The insistently lo-fi layout makes navigation a challenge requiring focus and determination, but at least the rewards are plentiful.
One section to plunder is McSweeney’s Reviews of New Food. The section consists of dozens of reader-submitted pintsize reviews, all compiled on a single page in center-spaced paragraphs that go down more smoothly than a strawberry milkshake.
Among the foods reviewed are cilantro, Jolly Time Kettle Corn, Beanit Butter, Swiss Chard, Elway’s Comeback Crunch, Low-Carb Doritos, Viactive (caramel flavor), Gorp and Hershey’s Pumpkin Spice Kisses (”The shape of a gnome’s hat, wrapped in crinkled foil…depending on ambient lighting, the orange may seem to be the exaggerated peachy flesh tone of a crayon or the cartoonish pallor of a woozy Oompa-Loompa.”)
Read ‘em all and then submit your own.
Published June 29, 2009 by Molly
Brooklyn-based artist Edith Zimmerman is the Tom Friedman of snacks. Working with materials lifted from the veg bin and pantry, she crafts ingenious sculptures and catalogs the results on her blog. The results are instantly enjoyable and devilishly clever. Herewith, a teeny questionnaire with the artist herself:
Why do you work with food?
Because when I see a piece of food art there’s some super straightforward part of my brain that just goes, “that’s a fish made out of lettuce, haha!” or “that’s a cat made out of a carrot, haha!” Also because I’ve seen some really great food art by a bunch of other people and it looked like a lot of fun to make.
What are your favorite things about working with food?
Looking at a piece of food until it reminds me of something. That part is fun. Although sometimes it’s frustrating because everything looks the same to me. Like–nectarine: it looks like a head. Potato: it looks like a head. Grape: it looks like a head. Celery: I could turn that into a head.
Do you nosh your creations after making them?
Sometimes! But usually not. Which I know is a waste, but usually by that point my fingers have been all over them and they’re cut up into weird pieces. But I did chop that scallion praying mantis over a bowl of soup, and I ate the hard-boiled egg for sure.
If you had all the materials of the supermarket at your disposal…what would you make?
A full dinosaur skeleton. Or a human skeleton. I could use parsnips for the bones, probably. Or a full-size vampire that I kept in the closet like he was sleeping standing up. I might make him out of all sorts of things.
Edith’s website is here ¡Andalé!
Published June 10, 2009 by Dallas
Maurice Sendak born June 10, 1928 turns 81 today. Celebration is in order!
Cake via Allison B.
Published May 14, 2009 by Dallas
I’ve never been to Coco Cake Boutique in Vancouver but I like the fact that they have an entire blog devoted to cupcakes. Victory for the internet.
Check out the Wild Things Cake in full delicious-looking detail.