Food Nostalgia

February 5 – March 13, 2016

Artists: Cey Adams, Emilie Baltz, Disorientalism (Katherine Behar and Marianne M. Kim), Gonzalo Fuenmajor, Kira Nam Greene, Jonathan Stein

Curator: Amanda McDonald Crowley

Radiator Gallery is pleased to present food nostalgia, an exhibition of paintings, photographs, video, sculpture and installation works by artists Cey Adams (New York), Emilie Baltz (New York), Disorientalism (Katherine Behar and Marianne M. Kim, New York/ Arizona), Gonzalo Fuenmajor (Miami, FL), Kira Nam Greene (New York) and Jonathan Stein (Coral Springs, FL).

“food nostalgia looks at food in contemporary America through a lens of fast food iconography and industrial food production” says curator, Amanda McDonald Crowley. “Participating artists variously draw on popular cultural references, brand recognition, bodies, memory, nostalgia, and playfulness. They ask us to think about our relationship to our colonial pasts, feminist thinking, cultural diversity, and marketing culture. The corporatisation of our food systems is deeply entrenched in our psyche; historical and contemporary trade routes of our food affect our cultural landscape.” As a framework to explore how we cook, eat, and consume, food nostalgia will be a platform to share ideas, and food.

Kira Nam Greene’s paintings and drawings are conceptual self-portraits with collaged images of food and complex patterns that represent the plurality and multiplicity of her identity as an Asian-American woman. For Kira, food acts as a metaphor for the idealization of the female body and the surrogate for desire to consume and control. During a residency in the “bread basket” of America, her Nebraska Suite series is the first time that she consciously used fast food imagery in her work.

Emilie Baltz grew up in Joliet, Illinois in a house without junk food. Her French mother was an incredibly creative and healthy cook, but all around her families were serving up junk food. A little jealous, and a lot intrigued, this experience inspired her Junk Foodie series: her images are both alien and familiar, but mostly fun interpretations of traditional recipes rendered using junk food ingredients.

Jonathan Stein finds his inspiration in grocery stores and fast-food spots. In his Shiny Sparkly Goes Down Easy series Jonathan takes iconic images such as Spam, Ritz crackers and a bucket of KFC to create bling objects where shinier is better and a glitzy surface masks a loaded commentary on fast food consumption.

Cey Adams also draws inspiration from popular iconography and brand recognition. In Cream of Wheat Cey takes the iconographic brand image, reputedly a portrait of African American chef, Frank L White and using collage and design principles, creates a richly textured and subtly rendered black on black painterly abstraction.

Gonzalo Fuenmayor’s Papare series examines ideas of exoticism and the complicit and amnesic relationship between ornamentation and tragedy. Opulent Victorian chandeliers and other elements, reminiscent of a decadent colonial past, proliferate from banana bunches, alluding to a tragic and violent history associated with Banana trade worldwide.

Disorentalism’s Maiden Voyage focuses on race and labor in American food production and promotion. The Disorientals track down the Land O’ Lakes Indian Maiden, who has been reborn as an empowered executive.

Food nostagia takes a critical, yet humorous, look at how junk food and brand cultures impact contemporary food systems and consumption.





Hungry Hungarians Book Launch:

Junk Food Brunch: