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Animation

Natural History Museum: A Snarky Celebration of Anthropology and Chicken Wings by Kirsten Lepore

October 9, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Using stop motion animation and her signature blend of the banal and bizarre, animator Kirsten Lepore (previously) plays with universal human traits in her new short, “Natural History Museum.” The animated film highlights the readiness with which we condescend to cultures from the past, as well as the deliciousness of chicken wings, through the lens of two characters whose identities shift over time. See more from Lepore on Vimeo and pick up swag inspired by her animations in her Society6 store.

 

 

 



Art

Ironing Wrinkled Chips, Keeping Headphones in Place, and Other Surreal Life-Hacks Photographed by Gab Bois

October 5, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Montreal-based artist Gab Bois uses everyday objects to create photographs that twist reality and illustrate bizarre, yet clever, concepts. Often achieved using post-processing techniques, the seamless images depict unnatural double entendres and impossible feats. For the artist, the ideas are the star and photography is a tool for translation.

Gab Bois has a degree in fine art but didn’t practice photography until after graduating. Finding inspiration in the mundane and random, the common thread in Gab Bois’ work is the familiar. The artist prefers creating from her own imagination and dreams so that the work feels authentic. She tells Colossal that nine times out of ten, she is the model in her photographs. “I like to be very hands-on when it comes to most aspects of my practice and find it very hard to delegate,” she explains. “Being my own subject gives me a sense of control that I wouldn’t have with a model.” She has shot other people on occasion, and Gab Bois says that those were great learning experiences.

Gab Bois’ images live on Instagram, but the artist says that they “aspire to live a much larger life outside of the platform.” She added that Instagram is “a great diffusion tool but it feels reductive to me to have my work reside solely in a virtual environment.” The artist also has a sculptural practice that lives outside of social media.

Gab Bois is working on a solo exhibition for 2020. In the more immediate future, her work will be featured in a group exhibition opening on October 10, 2019 at KK Outlet in London and also in Montreal on October 17, 2019. To see more of her ideas come to life, follow the artist on Instagram.

 

 



Documentary

The Last Honey Hunter: One Man’s Quest to Gather Honey From the Cliffs of Rural Nepal

October 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

The Last Honey Hunter was released in 2017, but is new to us at Colossal and is a powerful story worth a watch at any point. Set in rural Nepal, the half hour documentary chronicles the Kulung culture’s traditions of honey collection. Using precarious methods to scale treacherous cliffs, the Kulung seek to harvest a particular type of psychotropic honey that has spiritual significance to the community. We won’t seek to paraphrase the intricacies of the tradition; when you have some time, go into full screen mode and sink in to the story.

Written and directed by Ben Knight, The Last Honey Hunter is a co-production of Camp4 Collective and Felt Soul Media, in association with National Geographic and with the community expertise of dZi Foundation. You can also read about the Kulung honey rituals in a National Geographic article.

 

 

 

 



Art Photography

Balanced Gourds and Stacked Loaves Compose Bountiful Still Lifes by ChangKi Chung

July 29, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

All photographs © Chang Ki Chung, shared with artist’s permission

ChangKi Chung composes cairn-like portraits of flowers, fruits, and vegetables that balance the unique shapes and vibrant colors of each natural object. In some images the edible elements are shot whole, while in others artistic slices are created to highlight a variety of internal patterns and shapes. For a recent series, Chung was commissioned by the publication Le Monde to create a new still life each week, showcasing stacks of crusty bread, halved hard boiled eggs, and cubes of blood red beets. The Korean photographer has also recently produced two images for the Château du Rivau as a part of a group exhibition celebrating the 500 year anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death. You can see more of Chung’s photographs on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Art Craft

Shimmering Collages and Installations by Sara Shakeel Bring Bedazzled Glamour to Everyday Scenes

July 26, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Chicago-based artist Sara Shakeel used to have a career as a dentist. But she’s traded in pearly whites for a shiny new medium: crystals. Shakeel incorporates a combination of collage and original photography in her glittering work, and focuses on food, landscapes, and female figures as her primary subjects. Shimmering crystals stand in as skyscraper windows, the chocolate in an ice cream twist, and snake scales. “The Great Supper,” her recent solo show at NOW Gallery in London, afforded Shakeel the opportunity to work in three dimensions. A dining table and chairs laden with plates, dishes, food, and candlesticks were all completed covered in crystals.

The self-taught artist has no formal training, and shared in an interview with Forbes that she has always been creative, but was discouraged from pursuing art school in favor of a more pragmatic career. Despite her meandering route—she tells Forbes she loved being a dentist—Shakeel has found her bedazzled own path to success. You can see more of Shakeel’s work on Instagram, where she shares new images with nearly 1 million followers. (via Hi-Fructose)

 

 



Art

Realistic Ceramic Sculptures of Decadent Desserts Examine Our Culturally Complex Relationship With Food

June 15, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Anna Barlow

This summer in Limoges, France, the Fondation Bernardaud presents a feast of cakes, pies, ice cream, and other life-like treats made by a group of 14 ceramic sculptors from around the world. Titled Céramiques Gourmandes and curated by Olivier Castaing, the exhibition explores the sometimes unsavory topics of mass consumption, desire, and cultural identity.

The sculptures in the exhibition are visually and conceptually packed with detail—from seemingly forkable slices of moist pecan pie by Shayna Leib (previously) to uncut and unreal fruit by Kaori Kurihara (previously). An impossibly tall overflowing sundae by Anna Barlow‘s impossibly tall sundae overflows with sweet ingredients,  and a 168 doughnut array by Jae Yong Kim (previously) pays homage to artists like Andy Warhol, Yayoi Kusama, and Jackson Pollock.

“No food is as powerful as dessert or gets as tied up in our issues of guilt, longing, abstinence, and turn,” said Leib in a press release for the exhibition. “We celebrate birthdays with it. Grandparents spoil children with it. It’s the first to get cut from a diet and the first some turn to for comfort.”

Céramiques Gourmandes opens on June 21 and runs through March 28, 2020. To learn more about the exhibition and the featured artists, visit the Fondation Bernardaud website.

Charlotte Coquen

Jessica Stoller

Jessica Stoller

Kaori Kurihara

Kaori Kurihara

Susan Nemeth

Susan Nemeth

Jae Yong Kim

Shayna Leib

Shayna Leib

 

 



Art Design

Geometric Dresses and Headpieces Created Entirely From Strands of Spaghetti

June 12, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

French interior designer and visual artist Alice Pegna is attracted to unusual or surprising materials, often using objects outside of their intended purpose. For her project Ex Nihilo, Pegna designed an entire series of geometric dresses and headpieces formed from pieces of uncooked spaghetti. “Spaghetti is basically reserved for cooking, and in the collective imagery it appears fragile. These two reasons pushed me to want to use it,” she explains in her artist statement about the project. “On the other hand I like its features. It has a certain flexibility due to its finesse, while remaining rigid and easy to split.”

Pegna starts each design by forming polygons, which create architectural details while also increasing the strength of the combined pieces. Each sculptural garment is intended to add to the human body, changing the way we see it by obscuring it as little as possible. This is clear in the way that Pegna displays her creations with minimal mannequins and matte backgrounds. The designer and artist wants to highlight the objects on the body while creating a sense of emotion with added effects of light and smoke.

In the future Pegna wishes to scale up her project even further by eliminating the mannequins and manipulating the material in space without support to test its limits. You can see more of her creations by visiting her website and Instagram.

 

 

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