These arresting (intriguing? Disgusting? Humorous?) portraits are from the Wotsit All About project by UK artist James Ostrer, “feverishly and painstakingly created tableaus with layers of sweets and foodstuffs being applied to a human subject.” (How many foodstuffs can you identify? Frosting, sprinkles, candy, burgers, fries, sausages… Those with extra-special powers of insight might even be able to identify the artist himself among the portraits).
And while these photos have an absurd exuberance to them — representing, say, a six-year-old picky-eater’s imaginary friend — Ostrer’s intent is decidedly darker. For him, the images are “icons of contemporary sugar worship, the imagined result of a corrupted globalization and increasingly dangerous methods of food production.”
Ostrer’s photographs of sugar adorned subjects allude to the history of primitive art, synthetic dietary sugar intake, and an irreverent twist on the absurd in which societal practices of ingestion oscillate into a nightmarish world of abject effrontery and nutritional disillusionment.