Art and food have always been cozy with each other, but when artists embark on culinary adventures, the results are rarely ever appetizing. From real-life rat dinners to the online antics of Kool-Aid Man in Second Life, our culture’s obsession with food is currently playing out in lavish feasts and online stores. With this list, I bring you the super-sized, jiggly, and greasy art of this century, not for the faint of stomach.
I’m not sure how this taco will taste once it’s shipped to you, but you know, food poisoning is a small price to pay for art.
The most recent addition to this century’s food and art collaborations, artist Laura Ginn served up broiled, smoked, and grilled rat meat—a delicacy usually reserved for the sewers—at Allegra LaViola, an art gallery on the Lower East Side. Ginn wore a gown adorned with the pelts of 300 rat furs for the dinner.
3. Urs Fischer, Cupadre, 2009
This croissant is food for thought, not for eating.
4. Thomas Demand's Photograph of Whitney Houston's Last Meal
Earlier this year at Matthew Marks, Thomas Demand exhibited Junior Suite, a photograph based on the meticulous recreation of Whitney Houston’s last meal. The celebrity tabloid TMZ acquired a photograph of Houston’s last meal, proving there’s plenty of people out there with a morbid curiosity.
5. Rikrit Tiravanija’s Tortilla Stacks
Tiravanija’s star began to glow in the art world after he started staging free pad thai dinners inside art galleries. That was in the 1990s. Since then, he expanded his food repertoire, and at Miami Basel in 2011, he exhibited 40,000 ceramic tortillas.
7. Jennifer Chan, Young Money, 2012
Jell-O Takes New York showed jiggly Obamas, dinosaurs, and eggs, all of which make me lose my appetite for the only dessert adored by day-cares and nursing homes alike.
9. Michael Mahalchick's Bacon Art
This spring, Michael Mahalchick pinned bacon to the walls of CANADA, another gallery located on the Lower East Side. They sure love food and art in the LES! Mahalchick’s greasy, aromatic strips were just one bit of the artist’s playful, caddywompus installation of paintings, sculptures, and other found objects.
10. Francine Spiegel’s Gross-out Mud and Milk Performance at Deitch Projects
The artist’s grocery list: 10 pounds of grits, 5 jugs of pancake syrup, 10 bottles of grape jelly, Fruit Loops, flour, Kool-Aid, pie, marshmallow goo, and chocolate syrup.
11. Shana Moulton, Whispering Pines 8, 2006
This is the episode of Whispering Pines where the perennially depressed Cynthia gets high on Crystal Light and stumbles into a rave blasting Enya.
12. Josh Kline, Coffee Co-Pays, 2012
Kline made a witches’ brew out of NyQuil, Coke Zero, gum, and other stuff that looks pretty icky when smushed together in a French Press. All of that can stay on the pedestal and out of my mouth.