Beautiful/Decay decided to do a three-part series of posts on artists who never listened to their mother’s advice….. not to play with their food! Food itself is an art form, its creation and consumption can be as much a feast for the senses and expression of emotion as any other type of creation. However, this collection of artists were not merely seeking to create a meal (in fact most of these works should be regarded as wholly inedible). In experimenting with squishing, flinging, melting, and otherwise manipulating food in all manners of ways, these artists were able to use food as a medium to comment about everything: from rising levels of obesity, to our perceptions of ethnicity and class. Read on to check out our first three artists!
Canadian artist Shary Boyle’s beautiful sculptures know no bounds. Her physically delicate yet intrinsically powerful ceramic pieces push boundaries of the real, stretching seemingly ordinary moments into fantastical satire of historic dark realities. Her work explores the complexity of power dynamics, addressing a vast array of social structures including gender politics, colonialism, and exoticism. Her work exists in a state of quiet conflict; it is fragile, precious, and plays on notions of traditionalist elegant aesthetics, while simultaneously delivering sharp intellectual puns that are clever, sophisticated, and some how, even through the visual distortion, perfectly intellectually exact. For example, her piece Family (2010) features a pilgrim man and woman sitting by a fire made up of a totem pole reminiscent pile of a decapitated heads.
Along side her ceramic sculpture practice, Boyle is also prolific artist in a endless variety of media spanning painting, performance, and film, to name a few. The artist also does beautiful “live drawing” collaborations with musicians. She has worked with artists such as Feist, Peaches, and Christine Fellows.
Shary Boyle has won various awards including The Hnatyshyn Foundation Award and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize. She has shown her work at prestigious institutions such as the Centre Ppmpidou, The National Gallery of Canada, and The Art Gallery of Ontario. She exhibited at the 2010 Canadian Biennial as well as the 2013 Venice Biennale.
Working with materials such as glue, pre-mixed craft paint and food coloring, Robert Moya‘s pieces are meticulously crafted using hand made materials and “dried and colored glue remnants taken from previously or simultaneously-made paintings“. Creating a cycle or as he calls it a “one process, one orientation and one modular shape” rigorous routine, these crafted “paintings” are an enjoyable mixture between a sculpture and an abstract painting. While some of them contain a variety of colors and “pieces”, he is still able to elegantly hold everything together within the frame of the panels.
Jorge Miguel’s photographic series, De-Cabeza, is packed with portraitures of grotesque and raw energy that demands attention.
Since living in Baltimore, I’ve had the chance to attend several burlesque shows and enjoyed them all. I’ve seen performers of all ages, including a few older women, which is often my favorite part of the show; I love seeing these women confident about their bodies, especially in a society that values youth. A photography series by Stephanie Diani captures this same idea. She photographed The Legends of Burlesque, an older group of women burlesque dancers. Diani found these women when she visited the Miss Exotic World pageant many years ago. They made an impression on the photographer, and years later she sought these woman for her project.
All the women photographed are septuagenarians, and performed in burlesque shows well after turning 50, 60, or 70. Even at this age, they still exude a mature sexuality and eroticism. In each portrait, Diani had the women pose for pictures in their favorite Burlesque ensembles or meaningful garment. The resulting images portray glitzy, over-the-top outfits, complete with feathers, fur, beading, and jewels. This is an amusing juxtaposition with their homes, which, not surprisingly, are reminiscent of your grandmother’s home. Each woman looks self-assured and strong, and it isn’t an act. Diani remarks about the women on the Slate photo blog, Behold:
I loved spending time with the women: they were wry and smart and playful. In June 2009, I photographed Hall of Fame legend Big Fannie Annie, by her own account 450 pounds of sizzling sex, in a hotel room in Vegas where she and Satan’s Angel were getting ready to perform during over Hall of Fame weekend. Angel asked Fannie: ‘Do you have any of that cum-in-a-can I can use?’ — a reference to the industrial strength hairspray that is an essential tool of their trade. Another, Toni Elling, took her name from Duke Ellington, whom she used to know. (via Huffington Post)
French artist Antoine Corbineau does a little of everything–painting, graphic design, video. Regardless of the media, his pieces “feel like carnivals or boardwalks, bursting with energy and life.” Corbineau’s organized chaos is achieved through bold injections of text and a bright but controlled color pallet.
I am incredibly enchanted by photographer Manuel Vason’s work. It is difficult to pin-point whether he does photography or performance. I would say both! He has models express so much story and emotion with their bodies and a few props; it’s a true study of the human body’s possibility of expression.
Indonesia based artist Debbie Tea was a multi-media student, but she now chooses to express herself primarily through her camera. Her photographs, many of which she presents in series, are observations of a peculiar sort. She pulls together that which tends to reamain separate, and displays her subjects by playing with their absence.