Food As Art Articles

Smillie, S. (2007, May). Is food art? [Life and Style]. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from

This article discusses the controversial question of whether food is art. It explains how chef Ferran Adria was invited to Documenta, an art show. Some people did not respond well to the fact that a cook was invited, and this is what spurred the question. The article discusses the debate of what art actually is and whether food fits the mold of art.

The article first discusses a viewpoint that food can never be art because of the fact that chefs are cooking to please the customer. There is one quote from Jones that says, “Until people go to a restaurant to think about death, cooking won’t be art”. A contrasting viewpoint to this says that chefs believe in their own taste, a type of art. They get reviews from restaurant critics just as an actor gets reviews. Discussed is the fact that eating engages all of our senses and our mind, and this could potentially make it the most complex act of the performing arts.

This is similar to the article in that it goes back and forth discussing different viewpoints. For example, in the article there are many reasons listed as to why food could be considered art. One is that the chef can take a lot of time using his imagination and creating something truly unique. However, in the end it discusses reasons as to why it should not be considered art, or at least major art. Food does not depict emotions the way that a painting does. This point is in contrast to the article I found on the web because as I mentioned earlier, they believe that it does engage our mind. This just goes to show that everybody has a different view on the matter, and it is hard to decide which is correct when there are so many good points made.

Gopnik, B. (2008, September). The Big Debate: Can Food Be Serious Art? [The Washington Post]. Retrieved April 25, 2010 from

This article from The Washington Post features a debate about whether food can be considered serious art. It is structured in a way that lists a statement as to why it can’t be considered art, and then another statement following that argues why it could. It discusses many important ideas and counter ideas that are big in the food as art debate. Each statement and counterstatement correspond to each other and regard the same issue, so that you can make up your own mind about which one you agree with.

One point made in the article I found was that it can’t go beyond immediate sensory pleasures. This was discussed in the article we read for class and was listed as a reason why food could not ultimately be considered art, because it couldn’t express or show emotion. However, the counter argument for this says that it does go beyond sensory pleasures in that it talks about history, culture, politics…I am not sure that this is a valid point in this case. Another point that was mentioned in both articles was the fact that its goal is to feed people and so it should not be considered art.

An interesting point made from the article I found was that there is no object that is left over when the meal finishes. When reading the article for class, I didn’t even think about this point, and I think it is a valid one. The counterargument to this is that music also does not last, and that each time a dish is created, it is like a performance that will survive over time. The problem with this is that music can be recorded whereas food cannot be.  Another point that was never mentioned in our class article was that food can only be experienced by a tiny number of people. I think this is because it is not necessarily a valid point when you see the counter argument which states that you don’t measure an art form by the size of its’ audience. This article once again leaves us hanging, to decide for ourselves if food can be considered art.


~ by mccaule2 on April 26, 2010.

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