Making art from food


Making art from food has yet to truly flourish in the Middle East, this is perhaps due to Islamic tradition which frowns upon the squandering of food.

In Japan, a homemade packaged lunchbox meal called a bento, has become an unexpected canvas for homemakers to be creative on. This activity has become so popular that a competition was organized to see who can come up with the most creative or impressive arrangement. Similarly, Dubai-based food artist Dharmangi Bhatia has created a catering business that aims to make snacks and meals that are visually appealing to children, after being exasperated by the typical birthday party atrocity of fried and oily finger food. Another method is to duplicate the item and arrange them in a certain way. Power art couple Ingrid Falk and Gustavo Aguerre created a mosaic of a toaster composed of 3,053 slices of bread with varying degrees of toastedness.

Considering the immense number of items in the food pyramid, the possibilities are immeasurable.It is a whole new medium that promises an endless variety of color, shape and texture combinations.

When making food art, some artists focus on the grandiosity of their piece and the shock-value, however, some artists prefer to align each aspect of their piece with the idea they are presenting. It is the ideal choice for the latter since every single food item represents something of human value.

Food can enhance the piece by enlivening the senses and evoking certain feelings; all of a sudden you can also smell and taste a work of art and come to a state of mind as if you have actually consumed the food. Using sour and bitter fruits to raise a disagreeable issue is an example of this.

There is also a vast divergence of food across the socio-economic scale in a society, and each food item can represent an idea according to who usually eats it, who makes it, where it comes from and how it is grown.

For instance Hank Willis Thomas and Ryan Alexiv of CerealArt. com used this method and chose a food item that embodies the message they are trying to send.

They compiled different kinds of cereal of different colors to make a portrait of President Obama and they chose conventional sugary cereal products to comment on the president’s iconic and commercial appeal.

Making art from food has yet to truly flourish in the Middle East, this is perhaps due to Islamic tradition which frowns upon the squandering of food. Although, however ethically polarizing, when executed proficiently and with purpose, artwork that is created with food can be visually invigorating and can also make an exceptionally hearty statement.


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