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225 × 165 × 15 mm
184 pages
100 colour illustrations
10 Jun 2019

A Feast for the Eyes Edible Art from Apple to Zucchini Carolyn Tillie

Savour a taste of the edible alphabet, from A to Z. Throughout history, visual and performance artists have rendered their visions within the whimsical medium of food. In Carolyn Tillie’s deeply satisfying A Feast for the Eyes, you’ll embark on a delicious adventure that redefines the art world.

Explore the surprising artistry of apple-head dolls, butter sculptures, coffee paintings and a grand cathedral carved entirely from salt. Learn about the ancient role of food creations in ritual and global folk art. Experience the modern magnificence of electrified vegetable sculptures and ethereal molecular gastronomy. Discover why Salvador Dalí had an obsession with lobsters, and why there is a giant palace in the American Midwest made entirely of corn.

Whether you’re a food lover or an art aficionado, this book serves up an aesthetic banquet that will delight your senses – and nourish mind, body and soul.

‘Any survey of food as art has to feature Giuseppe Arcimboldo, the 16th-century Italian painter whose portraits are montages of food. There is a take-off on one, by the photographer Klaus Enrique, on the cover of this lovely volume, A Feast for the Eyes. The book is an alphabetical compendium, with entries showing and explaining fanciful Easter eggs, mosaics made from seeds and rice, carved radishes, butter sculptures, insanely elaborate lattes and intricate Japanese confections. The introduction gives historical background from 60,000-year-old engraved ostrich shells to Instagram.’ — Florence Fabricant, The New York Times

‘When artists use food as a medium the results are a long way from church hall fetes and Women’s Institute cookery classes. When top chefs turn the presentation of food into a creative tour-de-force of design, the results can be extraordinary. Tillie has made an A-Z of weird and wonderful creations sourced from across the world . . . An unexpected delight.’ — State Magazine

‘Food in art is a rich and appetising subject. The tables of 17th-century cardinals, for example, were decorated with miniature sculptures of martyred saints in sugar. All such works, unfortunately, were consumed long ago, like baroque boiled sweets. Feast for the Eyes is more an amuse-gueule than a full study. Alphabetically arranged, it contains some genuine art — such as the American artist Ed Ruscha’s "Chocolate Room" — but also a good deal of restaurant kitsch, including a version of Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ fashioned from coloured pasta. Perhaps it tastes better than it looks.’ — The Spectator

‘The illustrations are a careful selection from mainly contemporary material, from a witty recreation of Arcimboldo's Vertumnus to astonishing crop art in the rice fields of Japan, corn palaces in South Dakota, and tea, chocolate and coffee in strange manipulations, all brought together for the first time to give a delightful overview of edible art, beautifully designed and printed.’ — Gillian Riley, Food Historian

‘This ravishingly luscious book proves once and for all, if it ever were in doubt, that food is art. An abcedarium of comestible confections and culinary marvels from around the world that is at once arrestingly beautiful and usually edible.’ — Ken Albala, Professor of History, University of the Pacific

A Feast for the Eyes is shipping to stores right now and we’re salivating already. We caught a glimpse of the works of art it contains, sculpted and fashioned from chocolate, vegetables, and other foodstuffs. From giant designs carved into crop lands to a collection of fruit arranged into a startlingly realistic human head, this book challenges readers to see and appreciate food differently.’ — WFAEats, Charlotte's NPR News Source

‘This superb book presents a delicious edible alphabet from A to Z. Every page reveals a fresh surprise, and confirms the idea that food is also art. It is uniquely human to transform avocados, salt, fruit and marzipan into a visual delight that is clever, witty, weird and wonderful. The artistry and outstanding attention to detail is quite remarkable . . . Feast For The Eyes is highly recommended, and you have to marvel at the skill and imagination required to reshape and stain mass produced semolina noodles into a fabulous version of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night.’ — OxVeg News

‘In artist Carolyn Tillie’s gorgeously illustrated A Feast for the Eyes, she considers the role of art in the full span of art history, from prehistoric paintings done on the inside of eggshells, to elaborately crafted Renaissance banquets with extravagant sugar centerpieces. But the heart of this little volume – or should I say the gut? – is the incredible alphabetical rundown of artworks made from all types of edible ingredients.’ — Artnet.com

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Carolyn Tillie is a freelance writer and award-winning artist, and the author of Oyster: A Global History (Reaktion, 2017). She lives in the Californian coastal town of Montara.


A is for Apple, Avocado
B is for Bread, Butter
C is for Cake, Caviar, Cheese, Chocolate, Cocktail, Coffee, Corn
D is for Daikon
E is for Egg
F is for Fruit
G is for Gelatin, Gingerbread, Gummy Bear
H is for Honey
I is for Icing
J is for Jell-O
K is for Kyaraben
L is for Latte, Lobster
M is for Marzipan
N is for Noodle
O is for Oreo
P is for Pastry, Pumpkin
Q is for Quail Egg
R is for Radish, Rice
S is for Salt, Seed, Springerle, Sugar
T is for Tea
U is for Udon
V is for Vegetable
W is for Wagashi
X is for Xantham Gum
Y is for Yam
Z is for Zucchi

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