Artists who use FOOD to make portraits

Artists who use FOOD to make portraits

Food for Thought 

Italian court painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo is most famous for his portraits of faces made up of fruit, vegetables, and plants. These paintings are from a series called the Four Seasons, made between 1563 and 1573, and were gifted to the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian II. They are what we call allegorical paintings, because they don't depict real people, instead represent each season: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Arcimboldo chooses food that you would find in that season, e.g. Summer is represented using a bountiful harvest of cherries, wheat, and aubergines, whilst Winter is depicted using very little vegetation and bare branches. Find out more about these usual portraits and make your own vegetable portrait in our film presented by Aleid Farnum-Ford. 

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Fruity prints

British artist Richard Deacon is primarily known for his abstract sculptures, but in the late 1980s he started experimenting with printmaking. 'A Curious Apple' (pictured) is part of his Curious series, which is based on the artist's childhood memories of portraits from the Strand magazine. These portraits were of leading public figures, alongside photos of vegetables which suggested human features. Over time Deacon's memories of these became blurred and distorted, and he decided to combine the photos with these prints, which present vegetables as strange portraits. The accompanying props in the images, such the vase, emphasise the apple's humanoid features. View the rest of the series here.

Don't Miss!

A new exhibition by art director and stylist Camilla Wordie - 'Eat to Live or Live to Eat' - comes to London's Feelium Gallery this May. In this exhibition Wordie will be interviewing 10 individuals, who have very different relationships with food;  some of those interviewed hate to cook whilst others love to eat; they will each share their top 10 ingredients. Wordie attempts to capture their character through these ingredients, with each 'food portrait' being taken by a different photographer. This playful exhibition will explore our intimate relationship with food, and will ask the question do we 'eat to live or live to eat'?