Playing With Food

Posted by Rob Walker on September 7, 2006
Posted Under: Artists,Pleasing

“Cheeramids #3, by Ernie Button

As promised, I stopped by the opening last night of the latest Hey, Hot Shot! exhibition at the Jen Bekman gallery in Manhattan. And as expected, I particularly enjoyed the photographs from Kate Bingaman. But I also want to mention the work of Phoenix-based Ernie Button. Somehow when I’d looked at his pictures online, they didn’t have the same impact that they had in person. The are pictures of “landscapes,” made of cereal. For example, the picture here is of Cheerios.

His statement for the show reads in part: “When I was a child, cereal was a luxury item. Brand name cereals were a rarity, as they were consistently more expensive. Something like King Vitamin (a popular 70s cereal) or Cap’n Crunch made for pure breakfast heaven. Looking at the cereal aisle today, it’s clear that breakfast cereal has changed. The cereal aisle has become a cornucopia of colors with marshmallows that resemble people and objects and characters from movies. It’s apparent that cereal is not just for breakfast anymore; it’s playtime. In keeping with the playtime theme, I began to construct landscapes that would utilize the natural earth tones of certain cereals. I placed enlarged photographs of actual Arizona skies … in the background of the cereal landscapes, giving the final image an odd sense of ‘reality.'”

Poking around online, I found some more of Button’s images here and (of toys, in this case) here. But if you’re looking to buy, I of course suggest you go through Bekman’s gallery. The Hey, Hot Shot! pictures are on view there until September 10.

Further diversion may be found at MKTG Tumblr, and the Consumed Facebook page.

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