I’m very excited to be exhibiting a brand new photograph at the Bon A Petite show at Copro Gallery from October 16 through November 6! The show runs in parallel to Nouar’s much anticipated solo show, Consumed By You, which will be on display in Gallery I. The group show (curated by Nouar) takes place in Gallery III, and collects work from a talented batch of emerging artists, all asked to create work themed around food. The show title is a nice little double entendre (clever — that Nouar!) tossing up a delicious lexicographic recipe of puns: bon appétit = food (obviously), and petite because all the pieces in the show are small; images no larger than 8 x 8 inches. Such ingenuity posed two incredibly fun challenges.
Challenge #1 — Food (the easy part)
Fresh off the themes introduced in Seven Signs of the Kewpie Apocalypse, I decided to create a restaurant scene where big, juicy, delicious kewpie heads were served up on silver platters by the presidents of the United States. The resulting photo was Sweet Feast at the House of Pink Delights, which I wrote about ad nauseam (no pun intended, honest) a couple of weeks back. Challenge number one was easy, as this was one of the most fun photos I’ve created. Yay!
Challenge #2 — Small (what?!?! I print and frame everything big!)
Framing the photo was going to be a real challenge. The aspect ratio of the original image is very panoramic, and I’d normally print a photo like this at a size at something approaching 16 x 36” so that people could more easily examine all the detail present in the small figures that make up this perverse restaurant scene. Sized to fit the 8 x 8” dimensions would make the image positively tiny (like, 4 x 8) and I’d have had to hand out magnifying glasses at the gallery. Luckily, the show called for as many as 3 images by each artist, so I got the idea to take my restaurant scene and dissect it into three panels — a triptych — with each panel reflecting a different scene within the overall image. Unfortunately, the composition of the photo did not lend itself to creating three equally wide panels, so I had to be a little more creative. The bubbling cauldron of sweet treats and kewpie heads in the center would fill the middle panel, and the table scenes would flank to the left and right, but I really liked the idea of presenting the piece in three equally square frames. I hit on the idea, then, of continuing the food and restaurant theme by presenting the photo as a place setting: plate in the center, fork to the left, knife and spoon to the right.
The result is the photo above. The piece is framed in three equal sized blck suede lined shadow boxes, with a set of antique children’s silverware on the sides, at the ready to dig into a savory kewpie head.
I actually had to use two sets of silverware. The knife and fork date, I believe, to the 1930’s. The spoon is extra special… it’s from the 1940’s and was produced by Gerber — complete with a spooky baby head on the handle!
Oh, if only Gerber had made baby-head knives and forks…
Opening reception for Bon A Petite is Saturday, October 16 from 8 to 11:30. Come on by and say hello!