I confess: I’m a fan of “cute food.” I also love bento, which is a very similar hobby. I spend about half an hour, every morning, making my son’s sandwiches into animal shapes and slicing squash and beets into little hearts. I definitely don’t see myself as an artist. But our last class has me wondering why cute food isn’t art. Some examples I’ve found require a great deal of skill. Some cute food no longer functions as food (for example, the s’mores image above). There is also a modest aspect of connoissuership to this hobby. The longer I spend collecting images of tiny cute food, the more I appreciate the skill and originality of certain pieces over others.
So, why isn’t cute food art?
I think that if these tiny constructions were disturbing instead of cute, they would seem more like art. For example, the image of the shoe from previous posts is obviously art. Yet if cute food were disturbing, there would not be a folder of my computer dedicated to these images. I collect images of cute food because looking at it makes me happy. It communicates a feeling, and that feeling is a positive one. Could this be why it doesn’t seem like art?
Can art be cute?