Foodies and farmers have long been contemplating good, fresh eats but artists also turn to the subject, creating appealing visuals and even practical, participatory works.
Today, we introduce you to five artists whose practices are informed and inspired by food, gardens and sustainability. These creative thinkers break down the boundaries between fine art and everyday practice, as well as the artist and the audience, by inviting the public to learn about the land and ourselves through edibles and small-scale food production methods.
It took three years of research for artist Christien Meindertsma could track down all the products made from a single pig. Just one pig can go a long way, traveling across the globe and ending up in unexpected places.
Her eye-opening photo book Pig 05049 sports said-pig’s yellow ear tag. It lists not only meats and “steak,” but also beer, injectable collagen, cigarettes and heart valves.
Tattoo artist Tattfoo aims to blur the line between “art” and “life” through collaborative projects that explore ecology, sustainability and healthy lifestyles.
S.O.S. Mobile Garden – essentially a shopping cart (or stroller) filled with edibles and a sign reading “plant here” – aims to raise questions about food waste and carbon footprints in our economic times. Although one may look strange, walking a shopping cart through city streets highlights the potential for self-sustenance.
Artist Joan Bankemper began The Black Currant Jam Project at the Black Meadow Barn in order to connect culture and horticulture while practicing organic, sustainable farming. Located in Warwick, New York, the Barn is a micro-farm and artist residence.
Fritz Haeg has collaborated on numerous public works, most of which concern edible landscape, gardening and education.
His most recent project is Wildflowering L.A. The native wildflower seed-sowing project began in fall 2013 and will bloom into summer 2014 for a public exhibition. Fifty highly-visible locations were chosen for the project and provide a change in scenery from the carefully manicured to the wild, native and potentially forage-able landscape.
Mark Menjivar is a photographer who has spent a lot of time thinking about food’s effects on land, in communities, and within our own bodies. His project You Are What You Eat is a portrait series examining refrigerator interiors.
For this project, the artists asked all participants the seemingly innocent question: “May I photograph the interior of your fridge?” The question, when presented visually, becomes incredibly personal as we contemplate various types of foods and their roles and meanings in our daily lives.