Since the discovery of fire, people have been looking for ways to satisfy their hunger needs. Fast-forward to the 21st century, they seem to have developed a more sophisticated way of perceiving food, now as a manner of self-expression. The questions are: can food and art be intertwined and is there any meaning behind mixing gluttony with creativity?
What is food art?
Consider last year’s viral artwork- “Comedian” by Maurizio Cattelan, otherwise known as “duct tape banana”. This managed to be sold for $120,000, for the simple fact that it stirred a craze in the online world. Was it the aesthetic or the emotional response that spoke to people?
The concept of food art refers to the use of various fruit, vegetables and other aliments to showcase a particular meal in a completely innovative way. This requires skills such as sculpting, knowledge of color harmony and plating, not to mention basic cooking abilities and great attention to detail. Some examples include watermelon carving, sushi art, LEGO-block waffles, cakes shaped like submarines, and the list goes on.
More than taste?
Food as art is still a subject of debate, as it doesn’t resemble the “classics” such as paintings or music. In the case of cuisine design, visual, olfactory and the sense of taste are crucial for the delivery of this kind of artistic experience. Cultural background as well as sentimental attachment to a specific dish can also play an important part. “Good food, like good art, is aware of its environment, and can create memories and evoke feelings in much the same way.”, says Max Levai, Director at Marlborough Contemporary, London.
Most food artists are either chefs, certified sculptors or just artists in search of a new medium to express themselves in. Still, this field of art doesn’t limit itself to professionals. Anyone with a bit of patience and inspiration can turn a meal into an aesthetically pleasing design. It’s safe to say that love for food and a desire to break the traditional ways of cooking and presenting a dish are among the top reasons to take up this activity.
Food doesn’t only have to mean what we eat, but it can send a message. It can introduce others to a world of gourmet senses, where they can discover new flavors. It can be a means of expressing people’s own personalities and cultural or historical heritage. So why not give it a shot? Turn your own meals into art.
If you’re on the lookout for some interesting gastronomic adventures, here are two book recommendations to keep you entertained:
If you’re looking for some more inspiration, check out another food-related article: Not-so-Fast Food at Home – Easy Recipes For Pizza And Shawarma.