Need Inspiration for This Highly Unconventional Thanksgiving? Feast Your Eyes on Some of Art History’s Most Surreal Meals
From 'Meat Joy' to 'The Dinner Party,' these unconventional works of food art will inspire a fittingly strange Thanksgiving holiday.
In 2020, most people won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving like they did in years past. The large family gatherings may be out, and perhaps the traditional meals, too. So, to inspire you to get into the spirit of this surreal holiday year, we rounded up some of the most high-concept food art to so you can host the unconventional Thanksgiving of your dreams.
MOVE THE FURNITURE:
Holiday gatherings, no matter where they take place, usually require some heavy lifting.
…SET THE TABLE
Take a cue from ceramicist Jen Dwyer and her Alice in Wonderland-esque dainty blue tablescape, or feast your eyes on the mother of all table art, Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party, and then consider one of Diane Weymar’s hand-stitched linens from her “Tiny Pricks Project.”
Jen Dwyer, “Dreamer’s Delight” (2020)
Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party
Artist Plate Project (2020)
Diane Weymar, Selections from the “Tiny Pricks Project”
Neri Oxman, Glass 1, Section Studies (2017-18)
Bruno Munari, Fork (1958-1964)
Cornelia Parker, Thirty Pieces of Silver (1988–89)
Whet your palate with these lighter plates and do as Alison Knowles suggests and Make a Salad, or if you’re trying to save room for the main event, keep it simple with some crudités à la Vertumnus.
Darren Bader, no title, no date
Alison Knowles, Make A Salad (1962)
Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Vertumnus (c. 1590–91)
Think beyond the turkey with inspiration from these meaty works of art.
Carolee Schneemann, Meat Joy (1964)
Lucy Sparrow, Sparrow Mart (2018)
Julie Curtiss, Food for Thought (2019)
Hannah Rothstein, Man Ray, “Thanksgiving Special” (2015)
DON’T FORGET THE SIDES!
While all eyes are on the bird, don’t forget the supporting cast. And from Michael Rakowitz’s Enemy Kitchen to Urs Fischer’s Bread House, artists have a rich history of using real foodstuffs in their work.
Michael Rakowitz, Enemy Kitchen (2003-ongoing)
Rafael Pérez Evans, Grounding (2020)
Claes Oldenburg, Baked Potato (1967)
Urs Fischer, Untitled (Bread House)
Chloe Wise, Bread Bag
Last but not least, treat yourself to the sugary sweets—and remember to always do as Felix Gonzales Torres did, and share the wealth. Happy Thanksgiving!
Janine Antoni, Gnaw (1992)
Alison Kuo, The New Joy of Gellies (2019)
Jennifer Rubell, “Consent” (2018)
Will Cotton, Against Nature (2012)
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