Sunday, December 7, 2008

Food & Art Memo: This Fresh Produce Looks Good Enough to Eat...But You Won't Want to Eat It

As the Christmas holiday approaches, many people have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. But fine art oil painter Susi Franco's visions are of wet, dewy fruits and fresh, crisp vegetables.

The artist recently created some of her food visions in the form of a series of oil paintings she calls her "juicy little color study", which she says for an artist is the challenge of recreating nature in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables with paint and brush.

As you can see in the photos of her two paintings, she has achieved that -- and more. Her tomato and carrots look good enough to...well, eat. But they will last much longer and be much more enjoyable hanging on the wall.

Being an expressionist painter Susi Franco doesn't just recreate what a particular fresh fruit or vegetable looks like in nature though. Instead she adds her own expression or interpretation of the food objects; what she says as she studies them while painting them.

And as you can see, the tomato and carrots are blemish-free, wax-like, idealized portraits of the real thing. When it comes to the supermarket, wax-like, blemish-free fruits and vegetables tend not to taste as good as those with natural skin and a blemish or two on them. But in the case of the artist's paintings, her impressionists tendencies do make the fresh tomato and bunch of carrots delicious to look at.

She says her painting, "Some Tomato," "shows a beefsteak tomato beauty that is rounder, brighter, smoother, redder and more firm and juicy than any tomato grown on earth."

And that her oil on canvas painting, titled "Rabbit Heaven" (the carrots), "depicts bright orange veggies that are free of those awful, little white hairs, problematic bumps, curves and bends." They are "a cook's dream to peel and a breeze to julienne," the impressionist artist says.

The paintings are 6x6 in size and done with oils on stretched canvases. The artist says she created them primarily as an "artists exercise" but that she feels they have decorative value as well. Therefore she is offering the paintings from her "juice little color study" fresh fruit and vegetable series for sale.

They are rather reasonable in fact. The "Some Tomato" and "Rabbit Heaven" original oil paintings, along with others, cost only $65, plus $10 to ship. They are available on the Web site, which is an online store where independent artists can directly sell their paintings at.

They might make good Christmas gifts for "foodies" as well as those in the fresh produce industry. We also could see the tomato and carrot paintings being used in supermarket and natural food store produce departments, adding a modernistic touch to the decor.

In terms of the lack of blemishes and flaws in the tomato and carrot paintings, particularly as it pertains to natural foods stores where selling organic and locally-grown fruits and vegetables that have some physical flaws but are free of chemicals and taste delicious is a good thing...well, in art, just like in good merchandising, a little creative (or impressionistic) license is allowed.

You can view artist Susi Franco's Web site here.


Anonymous said...

Wondered how you found this artist? The food definitely looks good enough to it!!

L. Watjen said...

I am familar with this artist. Susi's artwork is fantastic. Her foods make my mouth water. As a fellow artist I find myself in the unique position of wanting to emulate some of Susi's techniques to bring the lusciousness of her work into mine. I am priviledged to know Susi and will always be inspired by her art.

Natural~Specialty Foods Memo said...

FYI: The link to the artist's Web site it at the bottom of the story.