Food is one of our fivebasic needs as human beings -an obvious statement, but worth a reflective pause. Our awareness and reverence of this reality appears when visual art appears. Food, culture, and visual art have been in lock step for millennia. One of the first documented records of visual art that references a food source, some 45,000 years ago, is a depiction of three wild pigs in a limestone cave in Indonesia.
The global human diet includes animals, plants, and insects. Artworks across millennia pay homage to food on several planes: a daily need, a cultural identity, a spiritual connection between us and the life sustaining abundance of our environment.
Fast forward to contemporary artists and their predecessors, from Vincent van Gogh's Potato Eaters, Andy Warhol's soup cans, Wayne Thiebaud's paintings of cakes and pies, and Judy Chicago's The Dinner Party. Food reflects culture. Food is social. Food is spiritual. Food is reason and the story of why we feast.
These five artists, Natalie Daise, Christina Dixon, Katerie Gladdys, Isabella Losskarn, and Mable Ni, render their understanding, perspectives, and connections with food. They represent aspects of the modern-day feast; from southern collard greens, plastic forks and takeout containers from fast food establishments, homemade jams, and ceramic donuts -each artist brings a dish to share to the feast of today's culture.
(Exhibition statement courtesy of the Spartanburg Art Museum)