Looking at Carl Warner‘s artistic photographs, you’ll probably feel a familiar sensation. It’s called hunger. This because Warner has a really peculiar modus operandi and his art is based on the re-creation of landscapes, monuments and scenes using mainly food.
As Gillian Orr of The Independent says, “trees are made from broccoli, the clouds are cauliflower and mountains are formed from piles of mashed potato. The result is a body of work that is irreverent, whimsical and fun”. This is the core of what the artist baptised “foodscapes”
Warner’s art is a mix of scenography, photography and digital post-production; the foodscapes are born in his London studio, where they are built on a large purpose built triangular table top. Each scene is photographed in layers – from foreground to background and sky; the whole process is very long and the food quickly deteriorates under the powerful lights. Each layer shot is then put together in post production, to achieve the final image.
Warner’s photos recall paintings and have a bizarre aura of reality/unreality, as if they came from a fairy tale. “I often use quite classic compositions in my work because I want people to be comfortable with what they’re looking at”, Warner says. “If people see something that reminds them of a painting or a postcard then that’s good because it deceives them all the more; they don’t realise it’s made of food until they get up close. If I did contemporary-looking landscapes with food, it would be too abstract and people wouldn’t get it. It’s important that it’s something they feel they’ve seen before”.
In case you’re wondering what happens to the groceries and all the food used by Warner, here’s the answer by th artist himself: “Although there is a fair amount of waste, there is a lot of food left over which is always shared out with the team, though most of the food used in the sets have either been super glued or pinned and none of this makes for good eating!”.