And for that, I have a love and hate relationship with pop culture. But, really, who doesn’t? The way pop culture highlights the most mundane aspects in life works both ways: that ordinary thing is made relevant as a means for celebration, but also it makes way for exploitation.
Take the way pop culture highlights food for example. Food is taken out of its literal value and made into a symbol of abundance, violence and even sex.
For this week’s F.O.U.R post, I’ll be sharing with you some of my favourite moments when pop culture meets food, producing interesting works of modern art (or if you prefer ‘art’).
Crystal Renn for Paris Vogue
Photographed by the notorious Terry Richardson, this editorial caused quite a fiasco in 2010 when Paris Vogue hit the stalls. Some called it grotesque, cheap, and just plain insulting – it was as if Richardson was poking fun at Crystal Renn for being a plus-sized model. If you were to view the rest of the editorial, you’d find very graphic ways in which food is used for sexual connotations which are honestly not of my taste. I picked this photo specifically because I find it aesthetically interesting how Renn interacts with that massive plate of spaghetti in ecstasy. The red sauce just pops against Renn’s jewels and clothes, and Renn just looks fabulously gluttonous. Richardson’s signature high contrast photography is at its best in this shoot.
Burger Skirt from O-Mighty.com
My sis would surely agree with me that food and fashion together are a pair made in heaven. While we’re avid fans of both things, I doubt my sis would have the same interest in food-themed fashion as myself. I tend to crave hyper-pop aesthetics sometimes, and pieces like this burger print skirt just feeds that appetite. O-Mighty has a lot of clothes that are food-themed, but be warned, some of them can be as vulgar as Crystal Renn’s editorial for Vogue.
Marie Antoinette, directed by Sofia Coppola
This film treats food – along with fashion and Kirsten Dunst’s celebrity status – as a currency of luxury, of abundance. The carefully composed shots of multi-layered cakes and pristine fruit desserts not only show how lavish and peachy Marie Antoinette life was, but because of their recurrence they also imply a sense of meaninglessness. Food is then used to contribute to the film’s satire of the glamorous upper class – which is undoubtedly Coppola’s specialty.
‘Vampires’ by Dukes music video
I first watched this music video when I was 16, and boy was my mind blown. Having viewed countless music videos since then, I still have a special regard for it. It’s wonderfully shot, simple, and cleverly nasty in the way it incorporates smashing fruit with gore-y imagery. In that way it matches the song’s contrapuntal timbre and cheeky, Gothic horror inspired lyrics.
Guess that’s it for now! Stay tuned for more of my and my sister’s tasty posts. I can’t promise that mine will fully depart from this post’s skewed interpretation of tasty 😉