How can art made from food be made relevant?
A simple Google search of art and food conjures up so many insipid images of landscapes moulded from vegetables you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve stepped in to a six years olds’ re-imagining of Emmerdale Farm. And whilst it is endlessly fascinating that cauliflower looks a bit like the wool of a sheep I believe a more conceptual approach to the very notion of food can produce art with a more coherent and informed spiritual prowess. How? By extracting the very material of food and applying it to artistic practice: By turning food into paint, in other words.
So why is this of any value? Well, first of all, let’s consider food as a concept. The very notion of food contains within it a vast array of social, political, environmental and religious implications: And individual foodstuff contains implications all of its own. Take an apple, for example. When befittingly considered and engaged with, an apple can represent anything from the symbolic representation of forbidden fruit to a social comment on local produce. If we are to create paint from such affluently encompassing material, then said paint will forever be loaded with such considerations, even when applied to a surface and used to represent objects and concepts far removed from its own: So whilst as a material it will be intrinsically pure, it will simultaneously still contain concepts associated with its original physical state, and so will be intrinsically laden.
Let it also be said that there is a certain juxtaposition to be found in the complex processes found within making paint and the purity of the end product. Indeed, I would suggest that paint, when produced manually, contains as much artistic merit as paint applied to a surface. So much so, that they can be marketed both as consumable good and as a contemplative and informed body of work. Paint just got interesting, in other words. Now to make so many jars of the stuff that Google images will be drowning in a sea of ground pigment and egg yolk.
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