Hannah Rothstein Creates Delicious Thanksgiving Dinners Inspired by Famous Artists
What would Thanksgiving dinner look like if Salvador Dalí cooked it?
Last year, Hannah Rothstein basically won Thanksgiving with her amazing series of holiday meals plated in the style of famous painters. There was a careful grid alá Piet Mondrian, a tasty version of Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night, and even a dramatic Jackson Pollock drip painting, cranberry sauce and gravy strewed wildly about the plate. In a word, it was brilliant.
“I was interested in exploring the ways in which different artists express themselves and use line and form. I wanted to do something was topical and I really enjoy using two unexpected elements together,” said Rothstein of the project’s genesis in a phone call with artnet News. “People seemed to like it so much last year, that I wanted to do it again.”
Now Rothstein is back for seconds with a new set of mashed potato and turkey dinners inspired by the aesthetics of artistic greats such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Joan Miro, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Photoshop trickery creates a surreal, melting Salvador Dalí dinner, while Rothstein emulates Kara Walker with a searing political critique of the fraught relationship between Pilgrims and Native Americans by using the artist’s signature silhouettes—in canned cranberry sauce.
Keith Haring gets a simple palate of corn, green beans, and gravy, while Rothstein brought the bling for Gustav Klimt, mimicking his famous gold leaf with gold spray paint. “I really enjoyed the resulting texture,” she said, noting that the stuffing resembles gold nuggets.
Her Damien Hirst homage below is spot on, containing a golden Butterball turkey in a vat of formaldehyde.
“Most of them are done with actual food,” Rothstein admitted, but the Hirst turkey “never actually existed, which is kind of a disappointing answer. I would prefer people think it’s magic.”
Obviously, we’re still huge fans and hungry for more. Our suggestions for next year include Edvard Munch (the spectacular volcano-induced sunset of The Scream would look fabulous in cranberry sauce and sweet potato mash), Banksy (Rothstein told artnet News that she actually had a piece by the anonymous British street artist in the works, but it never quite came together—perhaps she can draw on food artist Harley Langberg for inspiration), and Oscar Murillo (dinner on the floor).
“I think people really like seeing something that’s become so familiar to them through a new lens,” said Rothstein when asked why her work has become such a viral sensation.
Signed limited-edition prints from “Thanksgiving Special” are for sale for $125 each, with part of the proceeds benefiting the San Franciso Food Bank. “Art is often such a selfish act, and I’d like to find a way to give back,” said Rothstein.
See more works below.
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