While Wayne Thiebaud is best known for his masterful paintings of cakes and slices of pie, the artist’s oeuvre is much more varied. That said, it’s hard to beat his painted confections: his perfect cylindrical cakes perched on stands and infinite rows of plates topped with a variety of delicacies, are feats of perspective, color theory, shape, and form. The decoration of desserts may have developed entire industries, but few artists have ventured to follow in Thiebaud’s footsteps. Fortunately, we found three at UNIX Gallery who offer contemporary visions of the dessert in art.
Street artist-turned-“pop sculptor” Desire Obtain Cherish creates candy colored sculptures cast in resin that comment on “society’s inability to control itself.” In tune with his style, materials, and social criticism, DOC’s subjects include lollipops, expanded to a comically large scale and presented in a series of rainbow colors.
Inspired by human nature and the sensory experience of consuming sweets, Andrew Holmes paints images of doughnuts, cakes, and strawberry-topped pastries with skilled hyperrealism. Through dexterous brushstrokes and an adept handling of paint, he transforms decadent food items into objects of desire, intrigue, and nostalgia. In a work where he depicts a stack of doughnuts oozing jelly, the implied associations with gluttony and decadence are forgotten due to his inspired treatment of color, light, and negative space.
Peter Anton shares commonalities with both Holmes and DOC in his larger-than-life, hyperrealistic sculptures of chocolate boxes, popsicles, and doughnuts. Anton says of his work, “I like to create art that can lure, charm, tease, disarm and surprise.” Composed of a mix of plaster, wood, metal, resin, clay, and acrylic, his sculptures do indeed seduce the viewer. In fact, if they weren’t so large, they could be mistaken for actual food.
Dieters may want to avoid the accompanying, mouthwatering images.