Photo-Realistic Paintings of Food Mock Our Hunger
Pamela Michelle Johnson Cheesecake / 60"x64" / oil on canvas / 2009
Curse you, photo-realistic paintings of mouthwatering subject matter by Chicago via California artist Pamela Michelle Johnson. And, please, forgive our drool.
Artist Pamela Michelle Johnson at work.
Johnson, who creates her subject matter of syrupy waffles, sticky piles of sugary candy, and squishy gummy bears super-size style (most over five feet square) uses oil paints on canvas. She says the goal of her realistic paintings of food is to invoke reflection on embracing a culture of complete and instant gratification.
What was that? Sorry, we were licking the computer screen.
And here's what Johnson has to say on what the realism of her food paintings should remind us of -- besides the fact that we should gobble up that last piece of chocolate cake, stat.
"The heightened realism of these paintings serves to remind viewers that this is a mirror to our culture. Overbearing scale and gluttonous quantities, juxtaposed against foods that are both tempting and comforting, examine the conflict between enjoying the highly processed, artificially flavored bounty of American life and the progression to overindulgence and gluttonous excess. The work is both gross and enticing. Empty wrappers forgotten and abandoned in a world of nothingness, question the sustainability of our excesses. The use of intense lighting and deep shadows coupled with exaggerated scale and unique compositions updates the classical notion of still life painting and gives it a contemporary twist."
Pamela Michelle Johnson PB&J II / 58"x44" / oil on canvas / 2009
In Johnson's first series of works, the focus is on large renditions of junk food. In the second, she focuses on the aftermath: half-eaten food and empty wrappers and packages. We kinda prefer the first one.
To see and learn more, go to Johnson's website here.