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7 Artful Food Combinations That Will Make You Reconsider Food Photography

Art and food. Two wonderful things, consumed in different ways. As anyone who owns a computer knows, the desire to capture food, to savor the colors, the smell, or to impress, is often as intoxicating as the meal itself. The images are familiar – a creamy, frond-like pattern swimming lightly above a latte, an aerial view of a delicate piece of fish (salmon?) sitting in a sauce that looks like four butters met and melted into one. We look at these images everyday, they’re not exactly art.

But what if we told you that #foodpics can actually be visually compelling, even art? This feed-clogging impulse becomes the plinth of pleasure at the hand of artists who’ve crafted their food into cheeky or conceptual combinations. Formed into clever patterns, captured at their most delicate, or even crafted from lambswool, these artistic combinations will make you reconsider food photography altogether.


1. Justin Fantl leaves no crumb or smudge behind when his obsessively clean aesthetic turns two of the messiest foods, butter and cheese poofs, into pristine patterns.

justin fantl makes a repetitious pattern from food
“So Good So Bad” by Justin Fantl


2.  Appropriately titled “Fruloons & Vegaloons,” Vanessa McKeown plays with materiality in combining authentic bits of food with synthetic. These aren’t exactly edible, but honestly, if you didn’t know any better, you might not know any better.

orangaloon by vanessa mckeown

auberloon by vanessa mckeown
“Orangaloon” and Auberloon” by Vanessa McKeown via Design Boom


3. Behold any of these stop-motion animations by Lazy Mom and think,”what sort of trickery is this?”


Stop Motion Animations by Lazy Mom, or Josie Keefe & Phyllis Ma

4. A 90s classic, Sophie Calle’s conceptual series entitled “The Chromatic Diet” was created based off of the artist visualizing the diet of a character author Paul Auster created in his book “The Leviathan.” Auster’s character was based off of Sophie herself *the plot thickens*

“The Chromatic Diet” by French writer and conceptual artist Sophie Calle is a fictional menu based off a fictional character. Image via Colour Master.

5. There is little so satisfying as looking at these perfect, candy-like 2.5 cm cubes of fruits, vegetables, and meats by Netherlands-based design studio Lernert & Sander.


The power of raw foods shines. By Lernert & Sander via Peta Pixel

6. Don’t know whether to eat or wear these creations by textile artist Jessica Dance and photographer David Sykes (just kidding, both are ill-advised).

Meals are crafted entirely from lambswool by Jessica Dance and David Sykes via Boooooooom
Meals are crafted entirely from lambswool by Jessica Dance and David Sykes via Booooooom

7. San Diego-born cult favorite zine turned publisher Hamburger Eyes got a little on-the-nose with Face Time, a zine replete with decidedly scrappier images of faces made from food.


Photographers Kappy and Snackie Chan play with their food in Face Time, a Hamburger Eyes zine via It’s Nice That



About the Author

Chelsea is the Marketing Associate at Saatchi Art. She likes Neoclassical art, text messaging, and that's pretty much it. Find her Tweeting @saatchiart, and Instagramming @saatchiart