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March 14, 2011 | by  | in Arts Visual Arts | [ssba]

Carl Warner

London photographer Carl Warner works in a specialised area: food landscapes, or, foodscapes. He creates dreamy and nostalgic images, reminiscent of children’s story-book illustrations, built entirely out of food.

It looks kind of CGI, but it’s not. The broccoli trees and mackerel seas are the result of hours of labour; Warner trawls the supermarket hunting for the perfect potatoes to be rocks. He then arranges the items meticulously, and takes photographs in layers as all that food wilts quickly under the lights.

The arrangement of the landscapes is conventional, using classical compositional techniques to trick the viewer into thinking, at first glance, that they are looking at a real scene. The revelation that you are actually looking at a whole lot of food is a pleasant surprise, and then you get to play the game of figuring out what food he has built stuff out of. The sunset sky made of a side of salmon is just kind of amazing.

He gets compared to 16th century Italian painter Giuseppe Arcimboldo, who was the guy who did the bottom-right painting. I think the similarity is clear.
Warner is lucky. His work is very marketable. He does ads for Italian pasta companies and a very good business in kitchen calendars. He supports healthy eating, and uses only organic and sustainable produce in his photographs, and the scenes are made up of wholesome foods only. No burgers. Though I do not think that the Land of Meat would be very good for your cholesterol myself.

Sadly, most of the food actually photographed by Warner and his team of minions is covered in glue and inedible by the time they have finished constructing a scene. But Warner tells reporters that any leftovers are shared with amongst the team at the end of the day. So, working as one of Carl Warner’s minions is my new dream job.


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