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Food. Play: Our Favorite Storytellers That Combine Food and Art.

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Playing with your food has never been so chic. Designer sushi, vibrant, colorful pasta, painters interpreting chefs dishes: food art continues to reach new heights on Instagram.

Another Instagram round-up, the following artists are causing a stir for their unique cross-overs between food, fashion, art, and design. While so much attention is given to digital art, and artists of all vocations are now grouped together as "content creators", these artists are proving that tactile art and traditional techniques have major value.

After a pandemic has swept the world restricting our freedom for so long, the need for physical contact with our environment is palpable. It's no surprise that a physical art-form is so enticing, even when scrolling. Knowing that what we are seeing is real is exciting and subtly hopeful, giving us something to look forward to experiencing when the world comes back together.

Daisuke | IG: @dimda_

David Rivillo | IG: @david_rivillo

How does a chemist specialised in new material development working on electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to CO in ionic liquids get to be so popular on Instagram? Doing what a chemist does best: combining things.

Dr. David Rivillo, a researcher at Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, applied his interdisciplinary knowledge and experience to venture into Food Science, and began making everyone's favorite food, pasta. More than pushing tradition, the food scientist has catapulted the artisanal practice of pasta-making into the world of design.

Pasta art and colored dough are not new concepts but what sets apart Dr. Rivillo is his aesthetic. Beyond the brilliant colors, the patterns are actually beautiful palettes that you could almost see yourself wearing in some cases. Even more, the pasta itself still looks appetizing. Or maybe that's for you to decide.

Kishimoto Takehiro | IG: @gakugakugakugakugaku1

Another spectacular artist we're seeing around the 'gram a lot these days is Kishimoto Takehiro, a chef and Mukimono food carver from Kobe, Japan. Artistic fruit carving or mukimono is not a new tradition with Thailand being a country known for their extravagant fruit carvings in watermelons, papayas, and endless others. In fact, Chef Takehiro also practices Thai methods and fruit carving practices.

So why have Chef Takehiro's images been so popular? It may be the subjects on which he chooses to carve his creations or maybe again, it's the unique aesthetic that is reminiscent of particular techniques used in fashion and accessory design, like a chain-link purse.

While The Japanese chef's Instagram handle may seem intimidating to non-native speakers: gakugakugakugakugaku1 - it is simply the word "gaku" repeated 5 times with the number 1 at the end. It seems from the blue check and massive following that there hasn't been an issue.

Let's IT [eat] Art | IG:

The focus on digital art has brought us back to the point at which we have a hunger once again for physical art. Fortunately there is Let's IT Art, a project by Federica Rink, an Italian student that was looking for a way to elevate the work of chefs and artists during Covid looking for creative stimulus.

The "IT" is pronounced (eat) in Italian for a play on words that is a call to come into contact with art that in this case, is partially edible.. Rink searches and find chefs interested in interpreting an artists work and artists interested in creating works of art inspired by a chefs dish. The result is a unique dish or stunning original artwork. Rink showcases the combinations on her Instagram resulting in a kaleidoscope of imagery feast for the eyes. The curator is currently working with the chefs and artists to make the original artwork available for sale and the dishes available in selected areas.

Ruby Perman | IG: @rubyperman

The dish about this next food art catching waves on Instagram is literally...on a dish.

If you're in LA or are a loyal viewer of Bling Empire you may have seen Ruby Perman's "Candy Couture" creations at Kathy Hilton's birthday or on Christine Chiu's Instagram.

Perman doesn't stop at candy though when it comes to saucy couture, or should I say "sauceplate" couture. Her edible editions are evocative of paper dolls, collages that start with paper cut-outs of the subject's body then is layered with precisely cut fruit like thinly sliced oranges and avocado and even dried Ramen noodles. Celebrities from Dua Lipa to Beyonce to Michael Jackson to Natalie Portman have been immortalized on a plate.

The Onigiri Art | @theonigiriart

Another fresh, food art frenzy that's taking the 'gram by storm is the Onigiri Art by sushi chef, Yujia Hu (胡宇佳), whose fashion-forward sushi art has foodies, fashionistas, and sushi fanatics hungry for more.

With intricate designs cut from dried nori, Hu uses a base of rice and salmon as a backdrop for designer logos and apparel that no doubt inspired the young chef who grew up Chinese Italian in Milan. Onigiri (お握り or 御握り), also known as omusubi (お結び), nigirimeshi (握り飯) is usually just rice wrapped in seaweed but is often made into fun and cute designs.

Hu has taken onigiri art to new heights, defining his own trademark style. In addition to requests for private and corporate events, the chef has been commissioned by several international fashion brands.

Imaikouba | IG: @imaikouba

An elegant edition to Instagram, the Japanese company Imaikouba produces hand-made wooden pasta molds that will make your nonna lift an eye.

Use your favorite ravioli or pasta dough recipe and press to create exquisite shapes and patterns that seem fit for a queen. From penne to ziti to garganelli pasta, there are endless options. The only catch? The shipping time from Japan could be a while.

Each pasta pattern seems to tell a different story and will hold sauce differently. The options are endless and just like with the best food, sometimes it's worth the wait.


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