While mom always said don't play with your food, clearly food-artist Jennifer Rubell wasn't listening. Her interactive, not to mention delicious, installations take the concept of food-inspired-art and turn it on its head.
A far cry from the traditional still-life of centuries past, Rubell's creations wink at classic works but spawn an atmosphere all their own. Sometimes taking cues from such renowned artists as Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp, Rubell re-imagines these compositions with food instead of oil and canvas.
For last year's Brooklyn Museum gala, High Style, Rubell turned dinner into a work of art itself, letting guests consume both with their eyes and with their mouths. The Bruce Nauman-inspired Hanging Heads were not made of wax but delicious cheese that melted sporadically onto an architectural bed of crackers underneath while the larger-than-life pia±ata head of Warhol, modeled after his 1986 work, Self-Portrait, was filled with candies and pink balloons for the guests' amusement and appetites.
More recently seen as the "vegetable butcher" at Mario Batali's emporium Eataly, Rubell cut, carved and cubed the produce into wildly colorful salads and simple slaws that shoppers could sample before purchasing. Her masterful hand and eye for whimsy easily shines through even in these simple dishes, brining art to the people and people to the food.
Photo: 16 Miles of String