What happens when you bring together food and portrait photography, and add 16th-century painter as an inspiration? Polish photographer Anna Tokarska has created photos that combine exactly these elements in a series of surreal portraits – made entirely of food.
The series is entitled Arcimboldiana, and it’s a set of eight photographic pastiches inspired by the works of the Italian mannerist Giuseppe Arcimboldo. He is often referred to as the precursor of surrealism, and Anna wanted to pay homage to this artist and his unconventional portraits.
Unlike Arcimboldo’s portraits, which were created in his imagination and then on canvas, Anna has one more step in between – she needs to build the faces using real food. To do it, she uses all sorts of fruit, vegetables and grains, and pays attention to even the slightest details. As the final result, she gets the face that is surreal in shape, but has disturbingly realistic look in its eyes.
Anna describes her work as consciously imitation of the original which allows her to take part in the creative space of the work and its creator. She doesn’t give meaning to particular elements of composition, and doesn’t use hidden symbolism.
As she explains, art has become “unattainable and incomprehensible” for a wide audience. “The lack of knowledge of history of art and philosophy, effectively discourages interpretation of the symbolic message,” Anna writes. Because of this, she decided to create a set of images that are “universal, legible, playful and fun.” In a way, it pays tribute to aesthetics, which Anna points out as very important in her own creative work.
About the Artist
Anna Tokarska is a visual creative working mostly with photography and painting. She is a graduate of The Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw (Poland), class of photography and multimedia, with honors. In addition, she worked for over ten years as a model for some of the major houses and publications, including Vogue, Valentino, Dior and Versace.
Her favorite subjects in photography are abstract, portrait and creative advertising. In painting; abstract expressionism. She has displayed her work in a number of exhibitions, and her artwork received numerous awards. For more of Anna’s work, make sure to visit her website and like her Facebook page.