These Sculptures of Giant Tomatoes Are Ripe For the Picking

What physical traits do humans find desirable? Artist Jessica Rath looks in her grocery store’s produce section for answers

As a self proclaimed foodie, I’ve often been given the philosophical question of whether or not food can be beautiful or a work of art.  To me this is a no brainer.  Art is entirely subjective – what I consider to be a work of art may be completely unimpressive to someone else, or vice versa.  Art aside, I think we can all agree that food can look pretty darn good.

As humans alter food to cater to their sophisticated (or not) tastebuds, we also change the look of food to suit our liking.  Like little kids, most people will only eat things if they look a certain way.  Maybe there’s a bump in the wrong place, it’s too soft, it’s not the right color, it has a bruise.  Whatever the reason, we like our food to look “good” and we’ve made the necessary changes to foods to make sure they satisfy our eyes before they can satisfy our stomachs.  

Artist Jessica Rath is fascinated by highly visual aspect of your grocery store’s produce section.  Much of art reflects beauty in the eyes of people as a whole, but Rath’s artwork explores what “constitutes beauty in the eyes of scientists”.  In a project dedicated to apple breeders, she created porcelain apples that reflected the varieties that scientists have worked for hundreds of years to produce.  Her current tomato centric project entitled Ripe, involves drawing, painting, and super sizing the vegetable-esque fruit into an abstract work of art.

In Rath’s research, she found that the process of giving tomatoes that scarlet color we love so much we have actually dulled the flavor.  So what’s more important to us?  Visual taste or physical taste? 

Just food for thought.

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