We’ve All Thought About It—Wouldn’t It Be Great to Eat Art? Now One Artist Is Making It Happen

Eduardo Navarro is serving up art soup.

Eduardo Navarro, Into Ourselves (detail). Photo courtesy of the Drawing Center.

If you’re visiting New York’s Drawing Center this month, come hungry. For his current show, Argentinian artist Eduardo Navarro is cooking up some artful eats. His latest series of drawings, inspired by quantum physics, is entirely edible, and if you stop by at the right time, he’ll fix you a few, served up in a piping hot cup of vegetable soup.

“It’s about the idea of consuming images—not destroying them but consuming them in your own metabolism so there’s no distance between the art and the observer. They become one,” Navarro told artnet News at the show’s opening reception while stirring a giant vat of soup over a hot plate in the middle of the gallery.

This isn’t the first time Navarro has combined his kitchen and his art studio. He explored the edible drawing concept in November in Basel at Der Tank at the Institut Kunst, and in February at ARCO Madrid, at the booth for his gallery, Nara Roesler.

Eduardo Navarro's edible drawing on display at Der Tank. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Eduardo Navarro’s edible drawing on display at Der Tank. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In the current show, there are 16 drawings on view—out of about 50 Navarro created over the past few months in preparation for the project. They are displayed under red heat lamps, like chicken eggs about to hatch. He’ll be cooking three nights during the exhibition, serving up three artworks each time.

“The most exhausting part is making the soup, and then serving it,” the artist admitted. “I’m worried that people are not going to like it.”

Eduardo Navarro, <em>Metabolic Drawings</em> (2016). Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler.

Eduardo Navarro, Metabolic Drawings (2016). Courtesy of the artist and Galeria Nara Roesler.

Each of the images illustrates the “holographic principle,” a concept in physics postulating that “information in the universe can only be scrambled but never destroyed,” according to the exhibition description. Navarro believes the idea applies to his digestive drawings, which are absorbed by the viewer, essentially becoming part of them.

On a recent evening, the crowd seemed pleased with the artist’s confection, which was flavorful and well seasoned. There’s no wild alchemy behind the edible drawings, either. “It’s the paper they use for putting photos on cakes, and the markers are edible Sharpies,” Navarro explained. “It’s pretty accessible.” The rice paper also doesn’t have much taste, which means it dissolves nicely into the soup. Dunking is recommended.


Eduardo Navarro: Into Ourselves” is on view at the Drawing Center, 35 Wooster Street, April 6–22, 2018. 

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