It was in the midst of the Civil War – 1863, to be exact – that President Abraham Lincoln set aside a day of joyful consumption and peace for the war-torn American populous. And every year since, families nationwide gird themselves in gluttony, loosen the ties of their elastic waistbands, and relish a butter-filled feast amidst a soundtrack of family squabbling and overzealous Christmas music.
Not to mention, pumpkin-flavored everything.
So in the spirit of high cholesterol, 242 million sacrificed turkeys, and the probing questions of your grandparents shared across the dining room table, The Bare Square presents something that we here are most thankful for: people who play with their food. Presenting some of the finest examples of edible creativity, for those with appetite for art as insatiable as ours.
1. Food sculptor Jim Victor and wife Marie Pelton demonstrate that 900 pounds of butter is more than your cardiologist’s worst nightmare. Living legends in their hometown of Conshokocken, PA, chocolate and cheese are also oft-used ingredients in their repertoire of works. Not to mention the occasional bronze or terracotta Louis Armstrong bust. For more information on the Pennsylvania’s favorite butter artist, click here.
2. Going to meticulous measures to create his fully edible, vividly rendered “Foodscapes,” photographer Carl Wagner proves that you need look no further than your refrigerator for some fresh air the great outdoors. Or fresh vegetables, in this case. To scope out the rest of his surreally-scenic crudités, check out his website here.
3. In his sixteenth-century series of oil paintings, “The Four Seasons,” Mannerist painter Guiseppe Arcimboldo channeled his self-consciously surrealist sensibilities by re-envisioning the human head through means of harvest surplus and spoils. Later embraced by twentieth century surrealists like Dali and Breton, his works demonstrate some of the earliest examples of figurative abstraction. Learn more about the artist’s zucchini noses and garlic eyes here.
4. Half food-fight, half performance art-orgy, Kreëmart is a creative enterprise in the works since 2006, giving artists worldwide the opportunity to create and celebrate their favorite dessert food, because apparently, nothing says art like whipped cream on a canvas. Collaborating with artists from Marina Abramovic, Leandro Ehrlich, to Olaf Breuning, the next stop on traveling exhibition is Art Basel Miami 2011, hedonism and all. According to founder Raphael Castoriano, “Neither art nor dessert are necessary for survival but both further enhance the enjoyment of life.”
If we’re lucky, The Bare Square’s own goddess of all things art, Jennifer Wallace, will share her personal experience of Castoriano’s project when she goes to Art Basel Miami next week. To see for yourself how a cream puff can become an edible cadaver, click here. If you have the stomach for it, that is.
5. In her 2009 installation for the Performa 09 Biennale, art world club kid heiress Jennifer Rubell heaped over 2,000 pounds of barbecued pork ribs onto a picnic table, for the finger-licking fun of NYC’s art elite. The installation featured honey dripping from the ceiling and a tong-studded wall, and sought to re-imagine the biblical story of Genesis, ala the creation of Eve through the ribs of Adam. This was not the first time Rubell mass collective caloric intake – there was the 1,521 doughnuts, the 1,800 cones of cotton candy, and the 2,000 hard-boiled eggs. Sensing a theme? Click here to learn more.
Had enough food for thought?
Well, when it comes to art, we always have room for seconds.
Wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving.
- Tom McKee