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Still-Life Food Is So 21st Century

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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In his Haarlem studio, Dutch painter Willem Claeszoon Heda took care to shadow in creases on a damask tablecloth and added enough yellow to make light bounce off a pewter pitcher. In the lower right-hand corner of his famous “Still Life With Gilt Goblet” piece, the artist from The Netherlands couldn’t help himself. He snuck in a lemon with one-quarter of the skin peeled off.

The phrase “still life” may conjure up images of staid, dusty paintings – or, worse – memories of late nights cramming for the next day’s Art History 101 exam. However, there’s a common thread in the photos of art that follow. First, if you broaden the definition a bit, still life food remains very much the rage. Second, food art might make you crave a masterpiece meal.

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Still Life With Gilt Goblet. Willem Heda's famous masterpiece from 1635. Oil on Panel, 88cm x 113cm. Image courtesy of Rijksmuseum. [Click on the image to see the source.

Art, canned

 

Each year, the unusual food charity called Canstruction® hosts competitions and events featuring objects made entirely of canned goods. Last year, the “Best Meal” prize went to… an orange peel.

2013 Winner in the category of "Best Meal" in the annual Canstruction event. Image credit: Canstruction. Please click on the image for the original source.

 

That’s NUTS

If we could examine the minute detail of each salted cashew piece before popping it in our mouths, then we might eat fewer of them.

Salted cashew piece. Photo by Thomas Bresson. Please click on the image for the original source.

 

Puff the magic gun

Because film and video still do a better job of conveying certain concepts, this last example is decidedly not still. The newly formed Museum of Food and Drink in New York City has plans to feature as one of its first exhibits a 3,200-pound machine that puffs food.

 

 

Kathleen Raven About the Author: Kathleen Raven is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her MS in Ecology with a focus on sustainable agriculture and MA in Health & Medical Journalism from the University of Georgia. Follow on Twitter @sci2mrow.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.






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