Would you be comfortable eating something left out in the open for all the public to view and feast upon? Obviously, not everyone would, particularly those who reside in large urban areas where pigeons and foul-smelling passersby all leave their indelible stamp on exposed food. Artists in Russia, however, have found inspiration in some major works of art and have created their own art forms out of sausages and wurst. Stranger still, these masterpieces are displayed so that the public cannot only admire them but also eat them!
Yes, you heard me. Da Vinci’s masterpiece, The Mona Lisa, has been replicated and made entirely out of slices of sausage. It is now on exhibition along with Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and others in Russia. Viewers are free to and even encouraged to go up to Mona and chomp on a piece of hair or an arm!
This Russian display of sausage art represents a growing trend among artists to think beyond the paint box and use non-traditional materials, such as chocolate, or unique concoctions of paint for their creations. Rabbit-skin glue, cigarette butts, and sand now cover many canvases in the same fashion as artist, Jackson Pollock once used industrial paints and Mark Rothko employed eggs. Now sausage has been added to the growing list. and maybe next will be a sunset composed of a sandwich of bacon and egg combined?
Russian artists are following the footsteps of Dieter Roth, a German artist who uses organic materials to explore the concept of time’s visibility. He did this in a painting of the sunset, which was depicted with a slice of salami (no mustard or ketchup). In these depictions, decomposition is a welcome occurrence although one can only wonder about the smells involved in the process and if the artist ever gave that a thought (or a whiff).
The modern refrigerator is now transformed into a place of exploration, a frigid palette of inspiration, so to speak. It has become a sacred repository where we can encounter all kinds of eerie things; moldy bread and putrid whatevers.
What if the new aesthetic becomes the rotting and the fetid aspects of living matter?
I can’t speak for Russia or for you, dear reader, but the whole thing is enough to make a person lose their…lunch!
Happy sausage to all!