If you are a devotee of culinary magazines and websites (I am looking at you Bon Appetit and Food52) and you faithfully follow their recipes, by now you know that the end result never looks like those glossy photos that inspired you in the first place.
What stands in between your dishes and the beautiful images is food styling. Brussels sprouts, chicken and bread are misted, shellacked, lit and otherwise made up to look like the food equivalent of a Victoria Secret’s model: unattainably beautiful.
The more food becomes a trendsetter and a fetish, the more opportunities arise for stylists and photographers to narrow their skills. One of these food stylists/photographers is Russian Tatiana Shkondina who, in between jobs, decided to have some fun with the food she styles for a living.
Inspired by a number of masterpieces spanning a couple of centuries, Tatiana set out to reproduce them using humble food: vegetables, fruit and grains mainly. The results are an irreverent take on art.
Much has been made in our Western food-centric culture of how cooking can be an art (I still lean more towards a skill), and chefs are elevated to a status previously attained only by French master Antonin Careme in the 19th century.
These images caught my eye because they poke fun at the idea of food as art.
Food can be pretty, inventive, fun and even a touch artistic – but, above all, let’s not forget impermanent.
And the winner is…..
Me…a while ago I entered a competition that Bernadette the cooking artist ran on her blog, Nostalgia and Whimsy. Bernadette decided to illustrate my Nutella and strawberry bundles recipe. I have now received the original artwork, framed it and hung it in my kitchen. The result is that I derive great pleasure in looking at it but I am now plagued with constant Nutella cravings….