Spreadable Michael Jackson?

I’ve taken a different view on food art ever since I clapped eyes on a curious tortured series of miniature sculptures made from dried apple at an “affordable” art show.

Sure there have been books on the subject — even rude food (art) for those who like to do or at least see kinky uses of food stuffs… well vegetables and fruit mostly. Meaty bits may be a tad over-the-top, although National Lampoon magazine did a clever depiction of the land masses of the globe out of cuts of meat for an article named The Wide World of Meat. South America will always be a lamb cutlet to me.

We’ve all seen the floral radishes and crimped carrots at the local suburban Asian beanery and the ice sculptures at corporate events – but there is a good chance that a butter sculpture of Michael Jackson could set a new milestone of food kitsch.

The Iowa State Fair in the USA has put the notion to an online vote before they do the deed next month.

This is not some maudlin tribute to the late King of Pop. The Fair’s organisers have declared that the sculpture will be part of the 40th anniversary of Armstrong’s walk on the moon where he took a giant step for mankind. MJ’s buttery effigy is there it seems, to honour his achievement as the music industry’s creator and perpetrator of the Moonwalk dance move. Hey – a yellow Michael Jackson!

Meanwhile back at the ranch, food art/sculpture whatever you want to call it, emerge at agricultural shows here too. But it is a fruit and veggie thing not a butter monolith. We have other ways of showing size is everything. After all this is the country of the “Big” sculptures in rural town centres – from Big Prawns to Big Pineapples. And of course the infamous Big Banana that was once covered in plastic Christo-like so as not to offend HRH the Queen on a visit. Although, I always thought that the resulting cover-up would have looked like a giant condom and certainly been more obvious than a banana skulking amid banana plantations – albeit an 11 metre one.

One of the show stoppers in the veggie art at this year’s Canberra Show was the Okra Winfrey Show complete with an audience of okras and Tom(ato) Cruise as guest. Hungry … or nauseous?

As the former editor of an art magazine, I can’t say this artistic discipline sets my pulse racing. But there is probably more nutritional value in chomping on an Okra Winfrey or a dairy Jacko than licking a Tom Bass or Auguste Rodin.

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