Referencing Marco Ferreri’s mordant 1970s satire by the same name, La Grande Bouffe, or The Big Feast, saturates the simple foods found in pantries and fridges with unexpected grandeur. The solo exhibition on view at Unit London showcases vivid paintings by Belgian artist Kristof Santy that transform humble fare like a cheddar wedge or slice of watermelon into bright, gastronomic celebrations.
Often positioned against textured tile backdrops or striped wallpaper, the oil-based works tend to be either devoid of human life or portray figures in rigid stasis: a butcher stiffly lifts a broom in the shop doorway, a finger peels back a tin of fish with precision, and pans filled with sausages and other meats fry on a stovetop unsupervised. Rendered with Santy’s signature flatness, the tableaus highlight the sometimes unnoticed and yet sumptuous qualities of everyday food.
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