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Food is great, and eating is a pleasure for most of us. We all have favourite meals, a special dish that’s our ‘speciality’, and we link memories to certain ingredients and smells. But food being at the base of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs doesn’t mean it can’t be elevated and turned into art. Until March 3, the Foam museum in Amsterdam hosts Feast for the Eyes, a collective exhibition showing “the rich history of food photography – not only in the visual arts, but also in commercial and scientific photography and photojournalism”.

The most archetypical image that comes to mind when thinking of food is, generally, the still life: from Baroque paintings to TV ads, it’s how most ingredients and dishes have been represented throughout history. And that’s why it’s the first section of the exhibition: to present examples but, also, to show the genre’s evolution. The second part of the exhibition, Around the Table, “looks at the ritual that takes place around food” – from lunches on a hangover Sunday to the avocado toast you posted years ago on Instagram. To finish, the section Playing with Food presents the most fun, hilarious, and even ironic artworks. 

With pieces from renowned artists such as Andy Warhol – who spent five entire minutes eating a hamburger in front of a camera or who also turned a banana into one of the most iconic album covers of the last century –, Nobuyoshi Araki, Nan Goldin, Martin Parr, Imogen Cunningham, Tim Walker, Laura Letinsky, Wolfgang Tillmans or Cindy Sherman, Feast for the Eyes is a treat you should give yourself. 
The exhibition Feast for the Eyes is on view until March 3 at Foam, Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam.

Arnau Salvadó
Cover photo
New Brighton, England,  1983-85 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos

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