Monday, May 5, 2008

The fine art of cheese

Question: Which of the following does not belong?
A) Clay
B) Crayon
C) Paint
D) Cheese

The answer is D) Cheese because it is not an commonly used art medium. But try telling that to the following artists who have managed to defy convention and integrated cheese into their work.

Sandy Skoglund is known for her installations, which are oftentimes surreal and vibrant in color. It doesn't get any more surreal than a room, not to mention the people in it, covered entirely in cheese puffs (the supermarket kind, not the pastries) in a piece entitled "The Cocktail Party," as shown to the left.

Sarah Kaufmann is the self-described "Cheese Lady," and for good reason. She has carved all sorts of things about of blocks of cheese, ranging from famous faces to animals, inanimate objects to college mascots. She is a Wisconsin native and had worked for the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board before embarking on her career as a cheese sculptor, so it's safe to say that cheese and dairy are practically in her blood.

Champion cheese carver (who knew that there was such a title?) Troy Landwehr turned a 1,200 pound block of Cheddar cheese into an ersatz Statue of Liberty. That is patriotism at its best.


kc said...

I wonder what would compel someone to cover everything in cheese puffs or to carve something out of a giant block of cheese.

Dana McCauley said...

I love the cheese puff piece - so poetic on so many levels - genius!

I'm not sure I should admit it, but my husband is a championship butter sculptor.

Cutting the Cheese said...

KC: I'm not sure about the cheese sculptors, but Sandy Skoglund is known for her installations that use all sorts of materials, including different foods, that also serve as social commentary on the world today.

Dana: One of my high school art teachers introduced me to Skoglund's work, and I've been fascinated with it ever since. My favorite is "Revenge of the Goldfish".

Wow, championship butter sculptor? I imagine that he has to work pretty fast so that the butter does not melt.