Art-See: Food

The holidays mean different things to different people, but I think we can all agree that this time of year is nothing without the food that comes along with it. I’m passionate about food year-round, really. I love the freshness of fruits and veggies in the spring and summer months, the hearty root vegetables and soups that come out in the fall and winter, but this time of year, I love what food symbolizes. It’s tradition, togetherness, creativity and a little piece of ourselves. What I love about Thanksgiving is that unlike Christmas it brings no pressure of buying amazing gifts and living up to expectations; it’s just sharing good food with the people you love. People who might not lift a finger in the kitchen all year come out of the wood work to try their hardest to make that turkey not so dry this year or the pies not so runny (or they buy everything from a store and pretend they made it themselves! Hey, no judgment here). Here’s to making food mean something special the 364 other days of the year. And to whet your appetite for Turkey Day, feast your eyes on some of my favorite food artwork.

This week’s New Yorker Food Issue cover reminded me of one of my favorite artists: Wayne Thiebaud. 

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Thiebaud is no stranger to New Yorker covers; he has created almost every Food Issue cover for the magazine since 2002 (for a slideshow of his other covers, visit the New Yorker).

His paintings always seem so alive to me because of how vibrant his brushstrokes appear. The way he outlines his objects in unusual colors, like yellows and greens, gives each work a certain energy. 

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What’s Thanksgiving (or any meal) without dessert? Take your pick in Thiebaud’s “Pies, Pies, Pies.”

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Or for something a little more tangible, take a look at any of Claes Oldenburg’s often larger-than-life food sculptures. Here, he designed an entire “store” of food sculptures.

And after all the food has been eaten and we settle into our food comas (thank you, tryptophan), the dinner tables might look a little something like this.

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“Banquet Piece with Ham” by Willem Claesz Heda is a classic still life depiction. The abrupt break in whatever meal was happening here was meant to symbolize that life’s enjoyments can be interrupted at any moment. Or maybe it was someone who said, “The dishes can wait. I’m taking a nap.”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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