GOOD

Feast Your Eyes: Yumiko Utsu's Squid Mask

Why does food lend itself so wonderfully well to surreal art?


Japanese artist Yumiko Utsu creates photos that blend the techniques of "glossy food photography" with the kitschy "anthropomorphic tendencies of manga." The results are unsettling—funny and disgusting in equal measure. Describing her new work, currently on display in London, gallerist Michael Hoppen writes:
Instead of taking a strictly documentary approach to the Japanese relationship with food and the natural world, she uses fruit, vegetables, and seafood to construct surreal fantasies populated by kittens with octopus eyes, pineapples full of owls, and phallic carrots.

You can visit Utsu's website to see more of her work (or, if you're in London, you can see them in person at the Michael Hoppen gallery through February 19).


Meanwhile, I'm left wondering why food, in particular, lends itself so wonderfully well to surreal art. From painter Salvador Dalí's Lobster Telephone to animator Jan Švankmajer's Meat Love (in which two steaks share a passionate affair) food's ability to convey sensuality, decay, and everyday ordinariness all at once seems to make it a favorite subject for artists trying to conjure up a whimsical yet disturbing atmosphere of dream-like suspended disbelief.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQkWrZw05P4

Image: Squid Mask, 2010, by Yumiko Utsu, via We Make Money Not Art; Video: "Meat Love," by Jan Švankmajer, 1989.

Articles
via The Hill / Twitter

President Trump's appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland was a mixed bag.

The theme of the event was climate change, but Trump chose to use his 30 minutes of speaking time to brag about the "spectacular" U.S. economy and encouraged world leaders to invest in America.

He didn't mention climate change once.

Keep Reading
The Planet
via David Leavitt / Twitter and RealTargetTori / Twitter

Last Friday, GOOD reported on an infuriating incident that went down at a Massachusetts Target.

A Target manager who's come to be known as "Target Tori," was harassed by Twitter troll David Leavitt for not selling him an $89 Oral-B Pro 5000 toothbrush for a penny.

He describes himself as a "multimedia journalist who has worked for CBS, AXS, Yahoo, and others."

Keep Reading
Communities

The Australian bushfires have claimed 27 human lives, an estimated 1 billion animals are feared dead, and thousands of properties have been completely decimated.

The fires were caused by extreme heat and dryness, the result of 2019 being the country's hottest year on record, with average temperatures 1.52C above the 1961-1990 average.

The area hit hardest by the fires, New South Wales, also had its hottest year on record, with temperatures rising 1.95C above average.

Keep Reading
The Planet