People with Too Much Time on Their Hands: Toast Art
It’s amazing what people will do when they have lots of spare time. I recently discovered an entire new category of art, that of Toast Art.
It would never occur to me to take a picture of my toast. Unless it had an image of the Virgin Mary on it or something. Then I would make sure to capture just the right image for my posting on Ebay. Seriously, though, it’s amazing what kinds of creative uses people have put their toasters and minds to. I love it when bored people take a few steps outside of the box. Sometimes it’s a few steps too many. You be the judge.
Okay, when I think of toast art, this is the kind of image that pops into my head. Something even I, a toaster with limited experience, could achieve. What sort of message is this artist trying to convey? Do we need to balance our food intake? Should the value of food be placed over the value of condiments? Do the two rounded bites out of the toast mean something — maybe suggesting the shape of a bottom? Or is this just one bored guy at a diner with a camera?
This piece too looks like something that I could achieve if given a piece of bread. However, it is actually an example of Rorshach Toast that is hanging in a museum in Germany! Look deeply into the bread. What do you see? A happy face? A butterfly? Tell me about your mother…
This has taken a few steps up the complexity ladder. It looks like I could make it, I guess. If only I had enough time. The real question is, why would you want to make this? I guess it’s neat. It’s definitely different.
The remainder of these pieces of art are of incredible complexity and require a great amount of artistic skill which, sadly, I do not possess. The shading on this piece is amazing in it’s detail. The texture of the toast lends the piece an almost aged feel. It’s hard to conceive of this piece actually being made of toast. It resembles a painting in sepia tones so much!
This giant mural is located in Japan. It is actually hundreds and hundreds of pieces of toast affixed to the wall. The complexity and texture of the piece area truly amazing. I like that this form of art is sort of like those photo mosaics made up of tiny, individual pictures. You can look at one piece of it and see one thing. And then you have to step back to see the big picture.
This piece was made by Ingrid Falk and Gastavo Aguerre in Buenos Aires, 2001. It is aptly titled “The Toaster” and is 5 meters wide and 4.5 meters tall. It is made up of 2,500 pieces of toast and took several days to assemble. It is supposed to be a statement about how art reproduces itself — as in, the toaster made it’s own image of toast or something like that.
This is a portrait of a director named Peter Jackson made entirely of cocktail toasts. It hangs in the Wellington, New Zealand airport. It took 2,224 slices of cocktail toasts to create this portrait. The artist’s name is Maurice Bennett. He has created a number of other portraits in toast and even an image of Eminem in, you guessed it, M & M’s.
This article wouldn’t be complete without a portrait of the King himself. This work from Lennie Payne is detailed in a 2006 issue of Make Magazine. In the article, Payne details how he creates his amazing images. He, unlike some of the other artists featured here, does not use a toaster. Instead he uses a propane blowtorch to scorch the bread. He then scrapes away the burnt portions to create the different shading patterns that he wants for the overall piece.
He also details how he preserves his pieces. Payne burns the toast, scrapes the tonal qualities into it and then lacquers the toast on all sides. The completed piece of toast is then adhered to a backboard with silicone adhesive. I’m sure that this process sounds easier than it really is.
True creation occurs when the mind has time to wander. It’s amazing to me just how far some minds will actually wander though. Thank goodness we are not all alike. What a boring world it would be! For a peek at another article that details what the bored can accomplish, click here.