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Bread as Art

Bread as Art

We approach bread as art, our medium of culinary creativity. But for some artists, bread transcends the material to become metaphor. Our aprons off to them; their conceptual creations offer new perspectives on pain.

Channeling the spindly grace of Giacometti, Spanish designer Enoc Armengol has fashioned furniture out of bread. His Panpaati dining set – a table flanked by two chairs – is at once functional and edible. He embraces the organic nature of his designs; ever changing with their environment, his forms are devoured by their surroundings – weather, people, animals. Inviting appetites, he considers his breadstick structures ephemeral reflections of society. “Nevertheless, these pieces can also be eaten, becoming part of the living process.”

Poland-born artist and Oakland transplant Milena Korolczuk works in a myriad of mediums, from photography to film and now, Wonder Bread. She considers the notion of the artist as absurd, a paradox of passion and futility. Her latest series, begun as a musing over breakfast, stars iconic figures from history, philosophy, art, literature and pop culture, their faces sculpted from wads of white bread. She then takes still-life photographs of the busts, perched amid the detritus of her creative process, nearly lost in scenes of bread crusts and table clutter. Through her lens, the act of art-making offers more meaning than the final work.

For Lennie Payne, a self-taught “master of Toast Art” from Great Britain, bread references humanity and spirituality. “Toast, a metaphor for the basic human need to eat and survive, also exists as a canvas on which to explore the spirituality that influences and affects our everyday lives,” he writes on his website. Welding a blow torch on bread slices, Payne chars imagery over multiple panes of toast. Whether making a celebrity portrait or a domestic scene, his toast works comment on the fundamental humanity underpinning personal and cultural obsessions. His self-portrait embodies the psychological weight the artist attaches to toast as physical and spiritual sustenance.