Trendspotting: The New Food Artists
Impressionism, Cubism, Minimalism... Food-ism? The creative ferment bringing together winemakers, cooks and artists is producing stunning paintings, mixed-media desserts and eye-catching wine bottles.
In this article:
Food Artists: Edible Art
Photo © Antonis Achilleos
Ginkgo trees in San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art sculpture garden inspired leaf cookies by in-house pastry chef Caitlin Williams Freeman.
© John Cullen
A Perfect Shot
Nikole Herriott's blog, Forty-Sixth at Grace has some of the web's best food photos, styled with kitchen tools she sells online. Here, her pretty halibut in parchment.
© Antonis Achilleos
Art of the Canapé
Gustav Klimt and strudel are two icons in chef Kurt Gutenbrunner and food writer Jane Sigal's Neue Cuisine. Out next month, the book celebrates Austrian art and recipes like this deconstructed snack.
Courtesy of Park Avenue Winter
NYC's Park Avenue Winter kicked off its artist-chef series with Volcano Flambé, conceived by Marina Abramovic´ and served with her tasting notes on an MP3 player. Up next for fall: a dish from conceptual artist Michael Rakowitz.
© Winni Wintermeyer
Ellsworth Kelly's Stele I in SFMOMA's sculpture garden takes edible form in Caitlin Williams Freeman's Fudgsicle, at the museum cafe.
The New Food Artists
Courtesy of Andy Ellison
MRI technologist Andy Ellison began scanning produce in the lab as a way to warm up the machines. The ethereal, ghostly images were so beautiful he began posting them on his blog, Inside Insides.
© Wil Edwards
Cheese in Focus
The Cheese School of San Francisco instructor Wil Edwards wants people "to see cheese with fresh eyes." His close-up photos of rinds have been mistaken for microbial slides and abstract paintings.
Courtesy of Jon Chonko
"I try to capture the view of a sandwich right before you take a bite," says graphic designer Jon Chonko. He shares his scans of more than 100 bisected sandwiches on Scanwiches.com and in a book, due out in November.
Courtesy of Sergio Lobato
From Cow to Canvas
"I get hypnotized by marbling and fat," says painter Sergio Lobato. His Abbatoir series includes images of beef carcasses as well as cuts, like Steak #7. "I wanted to preserve that second you look at a steak and say, 'Wow, that's a beautiful cut of meat.' " sergiolobato.com.
Courtesy of Joël Penkman
Pop Art Popsicles
Like an Anglophile version of pastry-loving painter Wayne Thiebaud, Joël Penkman creates lovingly nostalgic still-lifes of retro English sweets like cream biscuits and trifle. His Fab ice lollies depict 1960s-era ice pops combining vanilla ice cream and strawberry fruit ice with a chocolate-and-sprinkles-dipped top. joelpenkman.com.
Courtesy of Diem Chau
Using photos of distant relatives as a starting point, Seattle artist Diem Chau embroiders simple figures and portraits on old porcelain plates, cups and saucers that she buys at thrift shops. diemchau.com.
© Anna Garforth
British artist Anna Garforth uses slogans and unusual materials—such as grass, masking tape, moss, trash or homemade cookies—to create typographic art and posters. crosshatchling.co.uk.
Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth, Copyright: Subodh Gupta
Food Artists: Wine Bottles Worth Collecting
Zarb This new Dutch company hires artists to produce trippy packages—like the fire extinguisher bottle—for its Champagnes. $50; zarbchampagne.com.
Taittinger Senegalese artist Amadou Sow designed the bottle for a limited release of Taittinger's 2002 vintage. $350; taittinger.com.
Eric Kent Wine Cellars The Sonoma producer commissions original artworks, like this abstract piece by Margaret Chavigny, for every line. $42; erickentwines.com.
Photos (left to right): Courtesy of Zarb Champagne, © Antonis Achilleos, Courtesy of Eric Kent Wines
Food Artists: Table Art
Fornasetti and Steuben are bringing in art-world superstars to help them create striking glassware.
Courtesy of Fornasetti.com
Architect Vases British architect Nigel Coates designed Tête à Tête "Lei" and "Lui" ("she" and "he") vases for Fornasetti. From $1,050; barneys.com.
Courtesy of Stueben
Sculpted Glass Sculptor Tom Sachs worked with Steuben to create a Champagne coupe cheekily named "Baby's First Cocktail." $125; steuben.com.
Plates That Pop
Angular and assymetrical, Diane von Furstenberg's "Brushstroke" plates have a graffiti-like energy. $20; dvf.com.
Artist Damien Hirst made china plates to accompany an exhibit of his famous butterfly paintings .$20,000 for 12; gagosian.com.
Brazil's Campana brothers created porcelain plates for Bernardaud with collages of their furniture design. $440 for a set of 6; bernardaud.com.
Stockholm artist Astrid Sylwan produced a bright, bold pattern for Marimekko. $75 plywood tray; marimekko.com.
Todd Oldham's dishes for Fishs Eddy feature the maritime-inspired illustrations of the late artist Charley Harper. $15; fishseddy.com.
Courtesy of Taschen
New food books give words and visuals equal emphasis. Penguin UK's Great Food series reissues classic works from writers like Samuel Pepys and Pellegrino Artusi, adding beautiful new covers inspired by vintage ceramics. Sara Fanelli's The Onion's Great Escape is a kids' book that folds out into a 3-D, Technicolor onion, and Menu Design In America (left) looks at nearly 800 era-defining menus from 1850 to 1985.
Food Artists: Art By the Crate
An innovative project aims to do for artists what CSAs do for farmers—sell their products to so-called shareholders.
Courtesy of Amy Rice
What's an art CSA?
Laura Zabel of Springboard for the Arts: "It's Community Supported Art—an acronym, like the one for Community Supported Agriculture. But instead of receiving local produce each month, shareholders get a box with three pieces of local art. We sell 50 shares at $300 apiece. We don't want to be the factory farm of art."
What kind of art do shareholders get?
LZ: "In Minneapolis, where we're based, Amy Rice made a beautiful print. Liz Miller, who normally works in huge, 3-D formats with felt, produced 50 small prints. Karl Unnasch created 50 original stained-glass pieces. One subscriber liked them so much he commissioned three more. With help from [Miami art collector] Dennis Scholl, we're now replicating the project in eight more cities."