No Joke, These Artists Are Bananas
We've all been there, staring at our fruit plate and deciding how we could turn it into a work of art. Should I stack the kiwi slices in the shape of the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Or perhaps I can make a landscape with a rainbow made from my honeydew, cantaloupe, strawberries, and blueberries....Good News! Your bizarre food-based aestheticism isn't a diagnosable disease, and you actually have some impressive company! These three artists, Honey, Jun Gil Park, and Keisuke Yamada spend varying amounts of time creating amusing masterpieces from their favorite potassium powerhouse, bananas. So, grab the nearest fruit basket, and get creative. Remember, you art what you eat.
As a graphic artist and illustrator, Honey spends plenty of time parked firmly in front of her computer, letting the creative juices flow. However, staring at a computer screen can be quite draining on the brain, so some additional sources of energy are often required. But honestly, who has time to make themselves a meal when they're knee-deep in the creative process? She keeps bananas on hand for a snack, and when she wants to rest her neurons for an hour or two, she likes to tattoo portraits of her favorite celebrities or characters onto the banana peels.
Pens never seemed to work for her, so she went smaller, and now uses a small safety pin to prick a hole in the peel, which allows the exposed area to oxidize. It turns brown, and once a few hundred pin pricks are made, some pretty spectacular art begins to emerge.
Coincidence or not, I think it is quite fitting that The Lizard King was completed on a green, unripe "canvas".
Whereas Honey might spend an hour or two having fun making some truly impressive portraits, Australian artist Jun Gil Park takes his obsession with bananas to a whole new level. He doesn't use a safety pin, but the principle of oxidizing the inner layer of the banana is the same. Instead, he uses a toothpick to draw intricate and unbelievable scenes and images on this ever-popular fruit. The harder he presses, the darker the imprint on the banana, and through a process of trial and error, he realized that he had only "scratched the surface" of this medium's potential.
He now spends a decent amount of time planning, sketching, and scratching his work into banana peels, and he appears to be quite the music lover, as many of his works feature musical themes, or specific artists whom he must admire. Well, admire enough to put on a banana, that is.
Finally, we come to an artist that wants to really dig into the theory behind high-end banana art. He intentionally peels back the skin of his medium and reveals the third dimension of potential. Keisuke Yamada, a Japanese artist not afraid of getting his hands dirty (or covered in potassium) is the mind behind some exquisite banana sculptures. The shelf life of this artwork is only hours before it starts to brown and rot, but that is enough time for this master craftsman (fruitsman?) to make some pretty delicious art.
His main tools for this detailed sculpting are a spoon and a toothpick, and the majority of these sculptures are completed in approximately a half an hour. Obviously, the browning of the banana does make it a time-sensitive process. Michaelangelo once said that "Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it". I wonder if that's how Keisuke Yamada feels every time he walks through a produce aisle...
Whether you get your daily dose of fruit every day or not, you can still appreciate the painstaking work from all of these artists who may be a bit eccentric, but who also certainly have unique talents. Next time you are carefully choosing your fruit for the day, find a toothpick or a safety pin and see what you can come up with. If you slip up, just eat your mistakes and no one will ever know. I bet Michaelangelo was never able to do that!
What do you think? Does this sort of stuff make you hungry for more? Or did these artists hit their heads after slipping on one too many peels?
Check out all of their artwork at their respective websites, which are linked above.
All images are subject to copyright by the artists.