Free for the public to savor from now through May 22, the food-focused exhibition “features more than 100 artworks by 36 well-known contemporary artists” – including Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Baldessar.
Smashing Oklahoma food stereotypes and tropes like a plate thrown against the wall, the exhibit comes right as OKC continues to mark itself as a culinary destination, hungrily opening a diverse array of culturally rich and acclaimed restaurants for locals and travelers alike.
By giving viewers the opportunity to thoughtfully chew on world-renowned art, and explore their own relationship with food in the process, it contributes to this food movement, proving that altering perceptions of taste is not exclusive to the restaurant industry.
The collection is divided into sections, guiding the visitor like an artsy buffet line where they can sample fresh perspectives of various tastes.
I began my trip by indulging in several recognizable works by renowned pop artist Andy Warhol.
Located in the “Disassociation” section, there are many familiar Warhol prints in The Art of Food, but there’s also an Easter egg – Warhol watercolors. Tucked into the ‘Drinking Rituals’ section, you’ll find two paintings from the artist’s pre-Factory days in Pittsburgh...
"Eye Candy” and “Food for Thought” are two sections in the exhibit that satisfy my favorite fundamental human appetites – knowledge and sex.
I went back for seconds on Chris Antemann’s work Covet. Located in “Eye Candy,” this porcelain piece depicts a woman twerking on a table during a lavish dinner party. When you look into the eyes of the participants, it alters what you think is going on, and who is enjoying the performance.
“Food for Thought” provides different lenses from which to digest the meaning of food.
John Baldessari’s Emoji series serves up unconventional meanings by connecting emojis with words beneath them. However, Baldessari is not going to change my mind about the meaning of the peach emoji.
An impactful understanding of food in society is presented by Lorna Simpson’s print C-Ration. It illustrates that while some are always invited to the dinner table, others are not.
Jenny Holzer’s “Survival Series: If You’re Considered Useless No One Will Feed You Anymore” similarly addresses food inequities and how it relates to social injustices.
Overall, the Art of Food is an excellent exhibit and worthy of your attention, as you never know what fresh discoveries will expand your mind's palate. It's open from now through May 22, so visit before it expires. I’ll definitely be going back for seconds.
For more information about Oklahoma Contemporary’s The Art of Food, free exhibit tours, and the center's free Second Saturday family programs, visit OklahomaContemporary.org.