sculpture made of sugar


Playing with Our Food

By Charles Purdy

Food art has surely been around for nearly as long as people have been eating; food’s appearance is an important part of the pleasure we take in it, and an appreciation of how food looks seems fundamental to human nature. (Just check your Instagram feed if you have any doubt!)

But when we talk about food art, we’re not talking just about so-called “food-porn” snapshots on social media platforms (though we love those, too). Food art has moved solidly into the realm of high art; artists are not only working with edible media but also exploring concepts related to food and its past, present, and future. Consider Kara Walker’s radical, massive sugar sculpture A Subtlety, for instance. Or read about the Design Academy Eindhoven’s new Food Non Food specialization, headed by artist and eating designer Marije Vogelzang.

So sit back and enjoy this visual feast. 

Artist, photographer, and baker Christine McConnell uses cakes and confections to craft terrifying scenes, doing all her own photography, design, modeling, editing, and baking.

All Brock Davis needs is a snack and an iPhone to create his playful images.

Benjamin Kranzusch’s typography experiment features a slightly different kind of “candy.”

Malaysian artist Red Hong Yi used her plate as a canvas for 31 Days of Creativity with Food.

Portrait artist Jason Mecier frequently works with food to create his offbeat mosaic representations. This portrait of Kevin Bacon was made from 15 pounds of bacon.

The creators of this promotional video for 2013’s FIAC in Paris take the notion of playing with food to a surreal and hypnotic new level.

For a Brazilian ad campaign, designer Silvio Medeiros created “stuff made of chocolate.” (It’s not really made of chocolate, but it certainly looks good enough to eat.)

Silvio does sometimes work with real food—as in this image from his “Lunch break, oh yeah” Tumblr page.

For their Minimiam project, food photographers Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle create whimsical and thought-provoking miniatures with food.

The Sugar Lab at 3D Systems is using 3D printing technology to make beautiful, ornate sugar sculptures (including this story’s marquee image).

Ajay Malghan’s photographic images are made without a camera—they employ fruits and vegetables as negatives (you’re looking at a persimmon).

As artists and art lovers, we’re keeping our eyes on our food. The next time you’re in need of some inspiration, why not take a look inside the fridge?

August 5, 2014

Original Artwork Credited Artists

Layout Doug Beach, James Begera