Haute Art: Chocolate And Candies

Did you know that many artists used candies or chocolate to made their works? Regression to the past, desire to be in a world out of any preoccupation (like the childhood), volition to point a society corrupted by mass consumption, economic disparities or any kind of problems related to food and malnutrition.

Born in 1981, Vincent Olinet is a French artist who lives and works between Brussels and Singapore. His works of art, mostly photographs or sculptures, make us thinking of a fantasy world: we have in mind the pirates’ boats and treasures, the Sleeping Beauty Castle. He’s obviously inspired by Walt Disney and all the other fairy tales! He said once: “I like to make shiny, colorful art pieces that appeal to our dreams and urges but actually deal with decay or disillusion”. His sculptures are made of real ice sugar and flour, cake decorations and doilies, however the main base of his cakes is polystyrine.

Many conceptual artists also use chocolate as a source material for making pieces of art. Vik Muniz, a Brazilian photographer born in 1961 and best known for his portraits of Marilyn Monroe or Liz Taylor made of diamonds, also produced several pieces which are his “Pictures of Chocolate”! This series reproduces well-know imagery and famous portraits in chocolate syrup painted over a light box. His process is to take picture of his “creation” just before the melting of the chocolate. Works of art made by Chuck Ramirez, an American artist who lives in San Antonio and who is best know for his giants “portraits” of purses, call attention of desire and gluttony and point economic disparities. He makes chocolate boxes made out of chocolate but they are always empty. As if he wanted that we maybe pay attention to emptiness of a certain part of our society.

Some other prefer candies… Felix Gonzales-Torres, a Cuban artist, combines his personal experiences, his reflexions on art history, his views on politic…His work is the reflection of his life in the society. His “Candies Piles” are monumental and very attractive for the viewer. They are also interactive artworks since people are allowed to take some candies from the pile and supposed to eat them. It is never totally stable and constantly refreshed… Born in Bourges (France) in 1965, Laurence Jenkell is fascinated by the alchemy of sugar. Declination and sublimation of candies are the main purpose of her work.

All of those works look appetizing and joyful but they are actually full of social and economic symbols. Olinet’s cake breaks down, Muniz’s photograph is a reproduction of a weel-known image, Ramirez’s chocolate box is empty, Gonzales-Torres’s pile isn’t stable, Jenkell’s sweet refers to sugar which can disappear and change all the time.

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Born and raised in Paris, Delphine decided to move to NY after graduating from the Sorbonne where she got a master degree in social sciences and history of art mention contemporary art. Once in New York she went to the Christies School and she got a certificate degree. She used to work as an intern during all her studies for an auction house, several galleries and art dealers in both Paris and New York. She’s now working on her first book which is dedicated to contemporary art in general