gouache and ink on paper / "artist statement" / robot — austin, tx. 2015
In this series (Lunch), I investigate the preparation and mastication events specific to the afternoon hours.
All my life—so many thousands of sandwiches and bowls of soup—I overlooked the significance of food as art piece. It wasn’t until my undergraduate years at [Prestigious Art School], studying under [Famous Sculptor], that I fell in love with the medium. Throughout the subsequent decade the driving force behind my work has been the concept of mastication and the process of preparation/creation that occurs prior to every mastication event (e.g. the roasting of a Thanksgiving turkey, the mashing of a child’s yams, the slicing of bread and cheese and tomato, and spreading of condiments for a tomato-cheese sandwich, the simple peeling of an orange). I am intensely fascinated by the constant Sisyphean practice of creation for sake of destruction; the destruction/mastication that is necessitated by hunger; our survival instinct, such a primal urge, juxtaposed with the elaborate preparation/creation of a sandwich or said Thanksgiving feast.
The collaborative works in this series explore the unique yet ubiquitous relationship between preparation/preparer and mastication/masticator, and communication between the two. One self-imposed material constraint I maintained throughout the creation of this Lunch series excluded all meat in my mastication process. The day I walked down to the Holiday Market on Bridge Street and collaborated with the guy behind the deli counter on The Mayflower, 2015 (pictured left), I unintentionally neglected to communicate my material specifications. A similar piece, Ruben, 2015 (pictured right) was another collaboration with the same guy. During the preparation event of this piece Hunger was at a high mark. I hastily grabbed the white-paper-wrapped food piece, which was later revealed, with its piles of corned beef, as someone else’s. In both collaborative instances, the created piece was not masticated—subverting my own destruction thesis—but thrown privately away in the alley dumpster behind my duplex.
Throughout this series I push the temporal and conceptual boundaries of what it means to qualify a food piece as “Lunch.” I examine the omnipotent force that is Hunger and how the degree of its presence affects the preparation/creation event, the resulting food piece, and the performance of final destruction/mastication event.
We are all food artists in one way or another—if you think about it.