From crocheted oysters and skull-shaped bread to pictures of last meal requests, the Scion Installation L.A. gallery space in Culver City celebrates the creative power of food in its latest exhibition, Palate. Curated by Zio Fulcher of Shepard Fairey's SWINDLE Magazine, the show features a wide range of works by eight international artists, as well as samples from the Candy Wrapper Museum and a vintage cookbook library. The unique presentation includes media such as sculpture, painting, photography, and more -- all revealing the inherently transformative nature of food, as well as its passive yet powerful role as a life force.
In Palate, Oakland-based Scott Hove's "Cakeland" series blends the aesthetic appeal of frosted baked goods with delightfully demonic imagery, transforming cakes into what millions of dieting Americans consider them to be anyway: monsters. Jeph Gurecka, meanwhile, found inspiration in the work of a Czech monk who decorated a chapel with 40,000 human skulls. Tamara Kostianovsky's hanging meat sculptures effectively redefine "sustainable art," and Martha Rich literally uses food writing as the canvas in her own colorful display. Professional photographer Jeff Vespa's images of burgers are as sexy as most celebrities, and James Reynolds' photographs of final meal requests offer a glimpse into the minds (and appetites) of killers. Malawi-born Alan Macdonald reinterprets classical painting with a modern perspective, and Clare Crespo ties it all together, using traditional handiwork to articulate her vision. As supplements, the vintage cookbook library offers the best of the worst in food photography, and the Candy Wrapper Museum provides a healthy dose of mouth-watering nostalgia.
Palate opens Saturday May 22 (7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.) at Scion's Installation L.A. Gallery, 3521 Helms Ave., Culver City, and is on view through June 12. Gallery hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and admission is free. For more information or to schedule an appointment call (310) 815-8840.
Click through below for more on each artist and their work in Palate.
"Cakeland" by Scott Hove features free-standing, hanging, wall-mounted, and walk-through sculptures that have been constructed from plywood and cardboard, with acrylic "icing" applied with standard cake decorating tools.
Comprised of bread baked in molds made from actual human skulls, Jeph Gurecka's creepy yet thought-provoking presentation is designed to serve as a commentary on the impermanence of life.
Tamara Kostianovsky's hanging meat sculptures are made from the artist's own vintage clothing, including Victoria's Secret underwear, an old tank top that was given to her as a graduation present, and an airline blanket.
Martha Rich's 10-foot-wide display of acrylic desserts features paintings that were applied directly onto the pages of old cookbooks.
The photography of London-based graphic artist James Reynolds features staged recreations of Death Row inmates' final meal requests.
Alan Macdonald's work combines the classic restraint of early modern portraiture with iconic Pop Art-style imagery for a biting treatise on contemporary consumer culture.
Author of The Secret Life of Food and Hey There, Cupcake, Clare Crespo uses yarn instead of paint in a series of crocheted pieces that include salad, a shrimp cocktail, and a cup of coffee.
Darlene Lacey's Candy Wrapper Museum is a collection 33 years in the making.