For most of us food is no more than the fuel we need to keep us going, but for young Ukrainian artist Pavel Bondar it’s a spectacular art form – the perfect medium to realize his vision.
In his project “Tasty Faces”, the self-taught artist creates stunning celebrity portraits from food, ranging from coffee to bananas to oat flakes.
“The idea to create portraits out of foodstuffs came to me out of the blue. I wanted to express my inner feelings in a visual form, and I found edibles to be the most suitable medium for that,” Bondar tells gbtimes.
Chocolate Beyoncé and Bread van Gogh
A melancholic person at heart who enjoys solitude and tranquility, at times Bondar can easily be carried away by emotions.
“Once it happened to me when I was listening to Beyoncé’s music. As an art experiment, I took a bar of chocolate and started painting a portrait of her,” Pavel recalls, adding that chocolate suited his perception of the R’n’B singer, actress and dancer best of all.
After the first “tasty” experiment proved to be a success, Bondar unleashed his imagination to the full. Now the raw materials that the artist uses include coffee, wine, bread, sushi, fruits and more, while the celebrities he has painted include, among others, pop diva Lady Gaga, Queen Elizabeth II and the French singer Mylène Farmer.
As a rule, Pavel trusts his intuition when choosing the key “ingredient” for a new portrait. The foodstuff always has something to do with the depicted character, one way or another. For example, the bread and tea that Pavel used to create a portrait of Vincent van Gogh were almost self-explanatory.
“For a long time, the famous Dutch artist suffered from poverty, living on just bread and water. So bread crusts and strong tea were part of his daily life.”In love with each character
Creative and innovative, Pavel’s working process still requires a lot of diligence and attention to detail. A good example is his sushi portrait of Chinese actress and “Memoirs of a Geisha” (2005) superstar Zhang Ziyi.
“The sushi portrait took me a few days. Rice was spread on a sheet of paper grain by grain, interworked with sesame seeds, seaweed and soy sauce. I wanted to convey the atmosphere typical of Japanese food culture,” the artist says.
According to Pavel, who spends hours on each of his unconventional art works, the process is more important than the end result. Naturally, portraits made from food can be quite short-lived.
Sometimes the process is not only time- and energy-consuming, but also rather extravagant.
“It was pretty impressive for me to draw a portrait of the Perfumer (a character from the 2006 film “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer”, played by actor Ben Whishaw) with vanilla and cinnamon right onto a girl’s body.”
“I deeply enjoy the process of portrait making, and I’m in love with each character,” Pavel says, adding that he just recently realized how thrilling it is to feel the simplicity and smoothness of every brush or pencil stroke he makes.
Pavel Bondar is already bursting with new ideas and exploring new edible art mediums. He also has some advice for those who need to have their energy boosted with art, as well as food:
“Take a deeper look at routine things, feel and love the people around you, and inspiration will never leave you!”