I’m thankful for art, I’m thankful for food, and I’m thankful that Jan Davidszoon de Heem painted this mind-blowingly gorgeous painting, “Festoon of Fruit and Flowers,” in about 1660. That’s 352 years of beauty so far.
This squirrel is thankful that he didn’t end up the way most “game” does in these old still lifes – dead. We at UncommonGoods don’t sell anything that involves harming animals, and we also prefer animals to be safe and happy in art (including all the cats on YouTube, naturally). German painter Peter Binoit’s “Fruit and Vegetables, Roses in a Glass Vase, and a Squirrel,” painted in 1631 or so, is stunning, nutritious–and vegan.
The way the colors pop in this painting seems sort of modern, doesn’t it?.
This one, even more so: “Still Life,” 1618, by the same painter, Peter Binoit.
I suppose back in the day, painters liked to use fruit as a subject because it was a way to get bright colors massed in globs, before they (European artists, at least) thought up abstract painting. In Edouard Manet’s “Basket of Fruits,” painted in 1864, you can almost see the paint wanting to leap off the fruit and fly around on its own, without being obliged to resemble anything real.
Look what it’s doing with Van Gogh’s and Cézanne’s apples, below.
“Still Life, Basket of Apples,” painted in 1887. (With all due respect to Vincent, I think they look more like some kind of squash.) Whatever they are, each one has a mind of its own, and so did every brush stroke that made them.
Paul Cézanne , “The Basket of Apples,” 1893. Do those fruits appear to be obeying any laws of gravity or perspective that you know of? How about that table–in what dimension does that exist?
Fooled ya. There’s no paint at all, here. Photographer Rasbak’s “Sterappel” (star apple), 2004, is a real piece of fruit. Yet it looks more abstract than any of the paintings, and seems if anything even more miraculous, because its perfect form wasn’t invented by humans. Paging Georgia O’Keeffe.
We’re done with apples, but not incredible edibles. Not only were no fauna harmed during this blog post, but the flora staged a revolt. Van Gogh made apples look all crazy just because he could, and the vegetable kingdom returns the favor in Ju Duoqi’s “Vegetable Museum no. 16: Van Gogh made of Leek” (2008) (photo courtesy of Artnet).
Vegetables, fruits, painters, photographers and collagists in all media: I’m truly thankful for the talents and imaginations of all the beings, past, present, and future, who’ve created the art I love, the food I love, the art about food I love, and the art made from food I love.
And, because I have an inexplicable passion for produce with faces, these four tasty toys will conclude my post for today. Thanks, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving! (To gorge on 100% fat-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, sugar-free, vegan food art, check out my ongoing Pinterest collection.)