The .ART of ... Being Inspired By Food

Who never heard a parent of theirs, while sitting at the kitchen table telling you, a little bit annoyed, "Don't play with your food!"? As life inspires artists and as food is pretty important in life, it isn't surprising that food has been a constant source of inspiration from 16th-century Italian painter to the Pop art movement artists, to today's music artists such as Katy Perry. Spotlight on people who play with food for art, for music or and more...
Featured image – Claes Oldenburg Hamburger and Katie Perry at the Met Gala in 2017.

Being inspired by food to create art isn’t something that started yesterday, there is an entire history of food as art out there. Food has been used to dye fabric, and fat or vegetable juice were amongst bingers for pigments that Stone Age cave artists use to create wall drawings. Egyptians illustrated bread and crops into the hieroglyphs that we find inside the pyramids. Renaissance and Dutch gold era still life paintings have included opulent composition made of wine and fruits, cheese and meat. Kitchen scenes were also a source of inspiration for painters for centuries. In the 16th-Century, Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, created portraits out of fruits and vegetables compacted together, giving life to face features.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Vertumnus, a portrait depicting Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor painted as Vertumnus, the Roman god of the seasons, c. 1590–91

Cezanne and Matisse have both famous orange paintings which were also an inspiration for Elina Brotherus photography decades later. Pop artists were literally obsessed with food – for the symbol it represented. Andy Warhol is famous for his can of Cambell soup, Cleas Oldenburgs have created bigger than life hamburger, fries, sandwich and cake. Lichtenstein had his hot-dog, and Wayne Thiebaud illustrated rows and rows of cake and pastries.

From left to right, Cézanne, Matisse & Elina Brotherus

Feminist artists such as Judy Chicago has been inspired by food, the art of the table and meal sharing, and so was Martha Rosler for Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975. Their art highlights the pressure on women in relation to food, not only the sense of obligation that it is a woman’s task to put food on the kitchen table but also with the implication of food concerning the female body. In the 1990s, relational aesthetic artists have brought food making directly into the gallery. With Pad Thai, RirkritTiravanija, transform cooking and food into an art experience.

From left to right, Judy Chicago, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Martha Rosler

Vik Muniz used to jam, chocolate sauce, spaghetti and caviar to create his large-scale drawings that are then photographed to become immortalized for posterity. Today’s food continues to be part of the art world with music artists like Katy Perry, dressed as a hamburger to an edition of the ultra-chic, over the top glamourous Met Gala. She also invited miniature food to play a central part of the video clip for her song “Chained To The Rhythm” in which a little furry hamster is served a more than decadent meal. Many more artists could have made this very brief history of art food.

Vik Muniz’s Action Photo after Hans Namuth & Medusa Marinara After Warhol

As life is experienced, dissected, talk about, sometimes made sense of through art, we can be sure that art will remain a mainstream source of inspiration for generations of artists to come!


.ART adopters aren’t the exception when it comes to what inspires them. Food has its fair share of spotlights on .ART and we thought of sharing a few highlights to conclude this article.  

Rupashree Adam Rupa is a master, not only one that creates detailed miniature food but also a chef in the kitchen after a specialised training at the renowned culinary school Le Cordon Bleu. From someone who played as a kid with miniature utensils, and was working side by side on miniature versions of her mum cooking, to a teen with a craving for creativity, it is in college that she started sculpturing and replicating her favourite items in tiny fashion. Today, she replicates some of the dishes featured on the menu at the restaurant she is working. Guests can appreciate the taste of it and then purchase a miniature souvenir. As she says “As food creativity is limitless, it is a beautiful journey without an end”. 

You can discover more about her miniature practice on her website at charmingminiatures.art or by looking at her work on Instagram under @charmingminiatures 

Charlotte CurdAward-winning photographer and photojournalist Charlotte Curd brings in her photographs the right ingredients for success: “a taste for adventure, the right amount of patience, and a strong instinct for the right moment”. Her beautiful and appetizing photographs of food tell the story of a desire to make things that taste good and look good. Her personal work, as well as her commercial one, have gained her attention and a fierce reputation as content creator and photographer.  

Look into her mouthwatering universe by strolling through her website charlottecurd.art  or by glancing at her on Instagram @charlottecurd 

Elephant Magazine
Why Elephant Magazine made this top adopters post about food – first they mojo is life through art and was, is more life than food? And then food can be art – so that was an easy one. They also published an article in May 2020 by Rebecca Fulleylove titled How the Cute Aesthetic of Miniature Food Became Big Business. This article tells the story of the human need to create tiny things that mimic life in miniature form, where it all comes from, how much this industry is now worth and highlights some videos and YouTube accounts that have earned millions of views with their video in palm-size kitchens creating the most complex and detailed miniature food. 

To read it yourself, stroll the article on their website elephant.art or follow them on Instagram under @elephantmagazine to never miss the next one. 

Gastronomic Connoisseur The Bon Vivant Club (and no, you aren’t reading an article about Julia Child even if Le Cordon Bleu and Bon Vivant are being dropped all around!) is an online food destination that is featuring the best of an epicurean lifestyle. No diet included only delicious recipes, gastronomy history, state of the art food destination, a love for coffee and wine and some pretty interesting food stories. Visit the site to plan your next food trip, looking for knowledge about food and to enjoy one of the sometimes not focused on enough aspect of cooking and food; socialising.  

You can explore food discovery possibilities by visiting them Instagram @gastro.connoisseurs or look at their .art website at gastroconnoiseur.art 

Museum TV  Musem TV is the first chain dedicated to museums only. And with their series of 10 episodes on food and art, Eating Art – you will discover both history and stories. Not only on canvas, but this series also focuses on flavoursome culinary artworks that are brought to life in the kitchen of the world’s most reputable food masters.  

Visit their website www.museumtv.art to discover more about the series Eating Art or find them under  @museumtv_art on Instagram. 


ABOUT THIS SECTION  

The .art Domains has always been dedicated to connect, empower, and support its community members and foster a sense of belonging to the art world. This new section celebrates creators that have recently joined our community. It is our way to give back and shine a light on amazing creatives, especially in these testing times! If you would like to be featured in a post, please look at our submission guidelines here. 

.ART Team
.ART Team
members are global citizens with interests ranging from art history to social justice. If we had an office cat we would have called it Basquiat.