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Matters of Taste (2017–present)

 

Matters of Taste

(2017–present)

 
 
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Daily Grind.

acrylic on polystyrene

20 x 20 x 6.5 cm. // 8 x 8 x 2.5 in.

2018

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Slices of Life.

acrylic

~7.5 x 7.5 x 0.5 cm. // ~3 x 3 x 0.2 in. each, installation dimensions variable

2017–2018

 

Full Circle

acrylic on panel

35.5 x 28 x 5 cm. // 14 x 11 x 2 in.

2018

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Just add cheese!

acrylic, oil, wax, and plastic on panel

35.5 x 28 x 7.5 cm. // 14 x 11 x 3 in.

2018

 
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Sample Spread

acrylic on canvas stretched over board

30.5 x 28 x 1.5 cm. // 12 x 11 x 0.5 in.

2018

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Relish and Embellish!

acrylic, styrofoam, and modelling clay on panel

28 x 16.5 x 9 cm. // 11 x 6 x 3.5 in.

2018

 
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Tasteful Pink.

acrylic, styrofoam, and modelling clay on panel

14 x 14 x 9 cm. // 5.5 x 5.5 x 3.5 in

2018

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One square meal.

acrylic on panel

11 x 11.5 x 5 cm. // 4.5 x 4.5 x 2 in.

2018

 
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Petit Fours (1-12)

acrylic on wood

4 x 4 x 5 cm. // 1.5 x 1.5 x 2 in.

2018

 
 Petit Four (1)

Petit Four (1)

 Petit Four (2)

Petit Four (2)

 Petit Four (3)

Petit Four (3)

 Petit Four (4)

Petit Four (4)

 
 Petit Four (5)

Petit Four (5)

 Petit Four (6)

Petit Four (6)

 Petit Four (7)

Petit Four (7)

 Petit Four (8)

Petit Four (8)

 
 Petit Four (9)

Petit Four (9)

 Petit Four (10)

Petit Four (10)

 Petit Four (11)

Petit Four (11)

 Petit Four (12)

Petit Four (12)

 

Artist Statement:

Does taste matter?

When it comes to food and appropriate ways to consume, most of us have many opinions. And why would we not? Food is necessary to our survival; our everyday lives are structured around its consumption. What we ingest and how we ingest says a lot about our culture, values, and identity.

In an age of mass consumer culture, the average person is becoming increasingly removed from the realities of food production. Supermarkets, restaurants, and online delivery services provide us with quick and convenient sustenance. Such an environment favours the visually attractive, the inexpensive, and the mass-produced. As consumers we choose foods which look desirable, but often their beautifully finessed surfaces disguise unhealthy truths. The goal of marketers seems to be the creation of an artificially exaggerated version of the natural. In this way, our ideas of normalcy become skewed. Processed foods become uncanny and bizarre distant cousins to the foods which they mimic. 

Much attention is paid to culinary diets, but what of our visual diets? It seems that when it comes to food, we crave more than the nutritional content or the sensory experience of taste. We live in a world which “binges” on reality cooking television and expect products to be “eye candy” which, as in the case of Tide Pod laundry detergents, can prompt errors in gestational choices. Basic aesthetic elements of colour, form, texture, and so on are constantly manipulated to feed hungry eyes.

Through this body of works, techniques used in food processing are mimicked with paint, wax, styrofoam, and wood to defamiliarize and present a speculative version of what food could be. Inspiration is often taken from the geometric molded forms of party appetizer platters and cakes – indulgent foods which have the ability to both seduce and repulse. The intention is to merge the aesthetics of painting and food and explore what it means to engage in visual diet.

-Aralia Maxwell (April 2018)