See Faces in Food with Klaus Enrique's New Portraits [Exclusive]

This brings a whole new meaning to "playing with your food"—now, the food plays with you.

Photographer and sculptor Klaus Enrique, whose instantly recognizable portraits of humans made from inanimate objects have been displayed alongside those of Andy Warhol, Paul Cezanne, and Francisco Goya, has just released a new series of stunning faces made from food. His work is reminiscent of Giuseppe Arcimboldo's famous paintings of human forms composed of fruits and vegetables, and it is from this artist's name that Enrique derives the title of his new series on display at The Griffin Museum of Photography, Arcimboldism.

Enrique's Arcimboldo-inspired style has been his signature since the mid-2000s, when he got the idea to photograph a face made of leaves, which was quickly dashed when he realized how similar it was to Arcimboldo's work. Further reflection helped the artist realize his photography could build on the narrative of Arcimboldo's work without simply being derivative. "Research confirmed that Arcimboldo had not been the first artist to create a composite head," Enrique explains to The Creators Project. "Anthropomorphism, pareidolia, and the cognitive processes of face perception are as old as mankind itself."

Klaus Enrique, Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon V, 2016

Free to explore the facial hallucinations he sees in everyday objects under the banner of Postcontemporary Art, Enrique has fashioned men out of fruits and roots, women from flowers and veggies, insects and butterflies into a likeness of Darth Vader, and many more. Each of his creations exists before the lens of a camera, without CGI trickery (as in the pareidoliac works of Lee Griggs or Adam Pizurny).

"Even before I was aware of Arcimboldo’s work I thought that photography was the right medium for this series," Enrique continues. "Painting has the inalienable ability to create a fantasy completely removed from reality. Photography arguably lacks that trait, but in return it provides a picture of reality that the most consummate photorealist can hardly match. This series brings a fantasy back to life. I can imagine one day in the future, distant or not, when an artist will use genetic engineering to create a living plant that looks exactly like Arcimboldo’s Vertumnus. It will be an arresting sight. Would that be the perfect Arcimboldo? Perfection does not exist."

Today, Enrique shares several brand new works exclusively with The Creators Project, plust a sneak peek at his Griffin Museum exhibit. Check out portraits comprised of cabbage, raw meat, and spiders below.

Klaus Enrique, Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon I, 2016

Klaus Enrique, Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon II, 2016

Klaus Enrique, Head of an Owl, 2016

See more of Klaus Enrique's work on his website. See Arcimboldism at The Griffin Museum of Photography through July 7.


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