Australian Indigenous bush medicine

The art of healing: Australian Indigenous bush medicine looks at traditional Indigenous healing practice through art and objects, giving examples of healing practice and bush medicine from many distinct and varied Indigenous communities across Australia. Sometimes at the Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter who, although he lived during the Renaissance, painted in a completely different style, focussed on portrait heads made entirely of fruits and vegetables. Many of his paintings are reversible, meaning that they look completely different upside down.

Caroline Barnes

Caroline Barnes makes ‘copies’ of famous paintings using vegetables and toast.

The image right is a ‘copy’ of Picasso’s Woman with hat. Like other creations by Caroline, it was created during one of the pandemic lockdowns. As she says, “At the beginning of lockdown and with my monthly visits to the National Gallery on hold, I thought I’d try to transfer the art I was missing to toast.” Also, “Of all the toast art I’ve made, my favourite to eat was Picasso’s Woman with hat as it’s the closest to what I’d normally eat for lunch.

Jill Bliss

Jill Bliss creates photos of medleys of fungi, flowers, ferns, and other botanical elements.

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Pieter Bruegel the Elder is one of the most famous painters from the 16th Century. In contrast to his Reniassance counterparts, Bruegel often painted non-religious, everyday scenes. This one, dated 1566-69, is called The peasant wedding.

Mirranda Burton

Local artist Mirranda Burton has created graphics for each of the 12 principles of permaculture.


Perhaps the most famous painting ever of fruit: Boy with a Basket of Fruit, painted in 1594.

In passing, ten years later, according to Wikipedia, Caravaggio “murdered a love rival in a botched attempt at castration“!

ChangKi Chung

Korean ChangKi Chung composes, and then photographs, stacks of food.

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali’s cookbook has been re-printed: Les Diners de Gala is exactly the sort of thing one might imagine Dali producing. See the reviews at Colossal and Brain Pickings. Buy the book.

Joan Denison

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Joan Denison’s ‘ISO chooks’ have been sweeping across Eltham and surrounding suburbs and now number around 3,000.

Tessa Doniga

Spanish photographer Tessa Doniga became famous for her series of pictures ‘Break/Fast’, which are surreal images that take the word ‘breakfast’ literally and misappropriate everyday objects. See more of her photographs.

Felicity Gordon

Felicity Gordon’s compost house is made up of 61 plants, 50 of them edible.

Alonsa Guevara

Alonsa Guevara paints hyperrealistic paintings of fruit, such as the orange pictured right.

Loes Heerink

Loes Heerink takes aerial photos of street vendors in Vietnam.

Adam Hillman

Adam Hillman slices and dices fruit and other food to create artistic photos.

Mikkel Jul Hvilshøj

Mikkel Jul Hvilshøj creates photos of the components of recipes.

William Kass

William Kass creates, and then photographs, miniature scenes using food.

William Kidd

Ceramicist William Kidd creates ceramic bowls, vessels, plates, jars and sculptures with the shapes of exotic fantasy fruits and plants.

Takehiro Kishimoto (aka Gaku)

From the Colossal website, have a look at their recent article on carved food plus their subsequent article.

Konekono Kitsune

Konekono Kitsune embroiders vegetables. As she has apparently said, “Embroidery threads are great for expressing vegetable fibres.

Lauren Ko

Lauren Ko makes pies with geometric patterns.

Lernert & Sander

98 different unprocessed foods each cut into 1 inch cubes.

food cubes
Lito Leaf Art

Lito Leaf Art is a Japanese artist who carves scenarios on tree leaves.

Rene Magritte

The Listening Chamber is a painting by the surrealist Rene Magritte painted in 1953. How big do you think the apple is? Whilst it could be any size, our brain automatically thinks of it as massive because of its confined circumstances.

Magritte also painted similar green apples in a number of settings, including in front of the face of a bowler-hatted man.

Vanessa McKeown

Vanessa McKeown, from the United Kingdom, creates and then photographs everyday objects made out of food.

Jean-François Millet

The Gleaners is a painting by French artist Jean-François Millet painted in 1857. It depicts three peasant women ‘gleaning’ a field of stray stalks of wheat after the harvest. Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields after they have been commercially harvested. Gleaners were amongst the poorest in society and Millet was painting their plight sympathetically.

Mahnaz Miryani

Iranian artist Mahnaz Miryani makes realistic, miniature food scenes which she then photographs. Tiny trays transport pastries, eggs, cakes and other dainty morsels. The scenes are made out of polymer clay which is hardened in the oven before being painted.

Amanda Nola

Gourds turned into art.

Dieter Roth

The image right is part of a 1970 exhibition called Staple cheese (a race) by a Swiss/Icelandic artist called Dieter Roth. The exhibition comprised 37 suitcases filled with cheese, one of which was opened each day. Its title was a pun on the word steeplechase, the idea apparently being to see how far the cheeses slipped and slid (aka raced) as they rotted. Over time, the stench grew and permeated out of the building. The exhibition became overrun with maggots and flies but the artist declared that the insects were, in fact, his intended audience!

The four cheese used were brie, camembert, cheddar and limburger.

Tatiana Shkondina

Tatiana Shkondina recreates famous paintings using food and then photographs them. Feature artists include Dali, Hokusai, Klimt, Magritte, Malevich, Mondrian, Picasso, Rousseau and Warhol. The picture right is Van Gogh’s Starry Night (1889) and was made with rice, blueberries and pasta. Look at some more of her creations.

Manami Sasaki

Japanese artist Manami Sasaki transforms ordinary toast into edible works of art using vegetables, fruits and herbs. The creations range from geometric pattens to portraits and landscapes.

Tjalf Sparnaay

Tjalf Sparnaay is a dutch artist who specialises in hyperrealistic paintings of food.

Rain Szeto

Rain Szeto is an American artist who creates detailed illustrations that portray the organised chaos of everyday activities in homes, shops and cafes.

Sabine Timm

Sabine Timm makes cartoonish bread faces and other wheaty characters out of sandwich bread.

Floris van Dyck

Dutch breakfast with cheese, bread, nuts and fruit, served on a fine white linen napkin protecting the red tablecloth. Painted in 1610.

Vincent van Gogh

The only(?) prominent painter ever to have painted potatoes.

Diego Velazquez

Old woman frying eggs is a painting by Spanish painter Diego Velazquez and was painted around 1618 (when Velazquez was in his late teens). Unusually for its time, it is a ‘genre painting’, which means that it depicts ordinary life by portraying ordinary people engaged in ordinary activities (rather than gods etc with no clothes on!). It is also notable for its ‘chiaroscuro’ (cf. shading), with different parts of the painting ranging from bright light to almost total darkness. And, finally, it is a precursor to ‘photorealism’, which is where the painting looks as realistic as if it were a photograph. To summarise, it is a photorealistic, chiaroscuro, genre painting of a woman frying some eggs painted by a teenager around 600 years ago.

P.s. Some people think that the woman is poaching eggs rather than frying them.

Leslie Vigil

Leslie Vigil uses buttercream to make cakes that look like collections of plants or flowers.

Antoine Vollon

Mound of butter is a painting by French realist painter Antoine Vollon completed in 1885. The painting has visible thick brush strokes which are probably meant to illustrate the marks after the butter knife was used to spread butter. In those days, there were (obviously) no fridges and butter was usually stored wrapped in a cheesecloth in a cool place.

Uli Westphal

Uli Westphal has created a series of cultivar photos, each devoted to a particular veggie: beans, cabbages, capsicums, cucumbers, pears, potatoes, pumpkins, sweetcorn and tomatoes. Perhaps most extraordinarily, accompanying each photo, he gives a list of all the named varieties of that veggie; so, for example, for tomatoes, he lists around 19,000(!) varieties – if you don’t believe me, see the list!


Ukrainian artist Yulia makes fabric dolls whose heads are vegetables or other food items.

  One Response to “Art”

  1. Fabulous. You may be interested in my blog where I make photographs representing artists, writers, architects etc (creatives) and the foods they liked to eat or represented in their work

 Leave a Reply