Artistry At Its Sweetest

August 27, 2018

With the great Minnesota get-together in full effect this week, it’s hard not to start every conversation with the hard-pressed question on everyone’s mind: which food are you trying this year? Chances are it’ll be fried and on a stick, which is exactly what you’d expect from the second largest fair in the country. Don’t worry, I’m not here to try and convince you to sample that hot dish on a stick, albeit I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t intrigued. The heightened food chatter has, however, re-engaged a different kind of food love of mine: food as art.

What’s the second-best thing to eating your favorite foods? Extending their shelf life by using them as art mediums. Although my taste buds aren’t blessed enough to tell the difference between a massaged piece of kale vs. a tossed piece of kale, my eyes are indeed blessed enough to love the abstract use of food as art. Following are my favorite artists who have incorporated food into their work.

Claes Oldenburg

You may recognize this name if you’ve visited the Walker Sculpture Garden and stopped to read about the large spoon and cherry sculpture that sits smack in the middle of the park. Oldenburg’s (and wife; Coosje van Bruggen) Spoonbridge and Cherry has become an iconic symbol to our city’s skyline. Known for his work during the pop and modern art era’s, Oldenburg’s sculptures typically focus on everyday objects becoming larger than life – quite literally. Lucky for us, many of his chosen “everyday objects” take the form of food. My all-time favorite is the Dropped Cone spilling over the Neumarkt Galerie (shopping mall) in Cologne, Germany – delicious!

Jessica Bearden

I discovered Jessie’s talent while sourcing influencer partnerships for a holiday campaign for The Gap. A multidisciplinary artist living in NYC, she is regularly commissioned by brands looking to showcase their product through Jessie’s artistic vision: using the product(s) as her art tools. Although my partnership with her involved denim and fleece, plenty of food brands have gotten a taste of her work as well, with some recent partnerships including Bai tea and Doritos – yum! I constantly get lost in her Instagram. A favorite is a mustard-and-ketchup Notorious B.I.G.

Lucy Sparrow

Last but most certainly not least: Lucy Sparrow, the felt queen. If you have friends and family in L.A., it’s likely your August social feeds overflowed with Sparrow’s adorable felt-filled grocery store items from her latest installation at the Standard Hotel in downtown. Sparrow, a British contemporary artist, binds art and craft through her large-scale installations replicating an NYC Bodega at an L.A. supermarket, and a London corner store. Each installation carries thousands of hand-painted and sewn replicas of food and grocery items found in your local mart. Her work takes DIY to the next level through a plush of adorable treats – scrumptious! A childhood favorite: the snack aisle.