Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lick This Spoon

Amy Stevens is an artist that combines two of my favorite things in the entire world: birthday cake, and vintage pattern. It's a project that began as a thesis show on Stevens' 30th birthday: She would bake 30 cakes for herself, and decorate them in crazy and gaudy patterns and then find patterns in real life to match them. Now, well into the 60s in cakes-baked-to-date, Stevens thrifts vintage fabrics first to inspire and theme her decorated masterpieces. Once frosted, the cakes are paired with their fabric muses, and photographed together - the result being an almost tacky but deliciously clever matching of gaudy pattern and 50's housewife symbolism. Absurd and overdone... domestic and particular... matching and color coded. They could be used to disect a generation of stay-at-home-moms, or they could be looked at and simply called "spectacular." (my own personal reaction). Beautiful birthday trophies- a tribute to life, pattern and tastiness.

While I'm heartbroken to hear that Stevens discards of most of the cakes after they're captured on film, she points out that after sitting in her studio for a few days, they can be used as a weapon more effectively than as a foodsource. (I think she means because they are stale and hard, but I get the feeling one might also be sent into extreme diabetic super-shock after consuming them ... another effective weapon, I suppose).
Amy Stevens latest confection collection - "Yummy" - will be on view at Nexus Foundation for Today's Art in Philadelphia from December 1-January 31.

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