Chloe Wise, Maurizio Cattelan, Chéri Samba
Viviane Sassen and Phillip Lim
Food connects us all in many ways, artists have expanded beyond representational imagery to explore the physical properties of nourishment as materials in art production.
Food connects us all in many ways, it is a personal exploration of memories, nostalgia, and homecoming and it has also been central elements in the contemporary evolution of alternative and conceptual artistic practices. Artists have expanded beyond representational imagery to explore the physical properties of nourishment as materials in art production. Perhaps the most iconic still-life images of the past one hundred years are Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans 1962, thirty-two individual paintings that straddle a significant shift between representational renderings and conceptual artistic processes. Food is an important aspect of how we document ourselves and our lives, even though it is very mundane. Contemporary artists are mirroring society of the “Foodstagram", in recent years food is about a lot more than simply eating.
Chloe Wise's work is as much about playfulness as a provocation. The Canadian-born, New York-based artist uses an approach that is, as New York magazine recently put it, "glamorous or gross or funny or all three." And the new pieces on display at her current show in Paris, Of False Beaches and Butter Money, are no exception. She uses food to explore issues that are not necessarily related to it, such as sexuality, identity, class, and gender. So many of these topics can be unpacked through mundane aspects of our lives. The movement towards health-conscious eating is a hilarious point of departure for her because she certainly subscribes to this, and she also loves/hates the modes of advertising associated with it.
Maurizio Cattelan is a contemporary Italian Conceptual artist. Known equally for his dark humour as for his realistic sculpture, he frequently depicts celebrities, art historical figures, or taxidermied animals in comically absurd scenes. Toilet Paper is a visual object of only pictures that investigates our contemporary obsession with images. It results from the digestive process following an overdose of visual consumption. Aesthetically, one can mistake the content with commercial photography, as the magazine’s pop iconography creates attraction and manipulates our vision the way advertising does.
Chéri Samba or Samba wa Mbimba N’zingo Nuni Masi Ndo Mbasi is a painter from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is one of the most famous contemporary African artists, with his works being included in the collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His paintings are concerned with people's lives. His work is not depicting myths or beliefs but aims to change the mentality that keeps people from his country us isolated from the world. He used often food images in his painting to give a different message, to appeal to people's consciences. He states that artists must make people think.
Viviane Sassen and Phillip Lim
Viviane Sassen is a Dutch artist living in Amsterdam. She is a photographer who works in both the fashion and fine art world. She is known for her use of geometric shapes, often abstractions of bodies. For Lim, who emigrated from Thailand to America during the Cambodian Genocide in 1975, cooking is a way to bring him closer to home and to memories of his mother. Phillip Lim and Viviane Sassen share the love with a new cookbook. Viviane Sassen, whom he describes as a ‘kindred spirit’. Choicely, the imagery doesn’t illustrate the finished dishes, but instead, the ingredients they comprise, and the market from which they were bought. Jewel-like cherry tomatoes skip across a wicker stall; chilli peppers cluster into sunbursts; empty, burnt-bottom pots are hungry to be filled with broth and chicken thighs.