Art Gallery

Ode to Breakfast by Chloe Graffeo

On Being a Guest, and Dumpling Evenings by Leo Racicot

Illustrations and Animation by Alix Marson

Paintings by Malina Syvoravong

Nasturtium in the Kitchen by Cynthia Staples

Watercolors by Sara Zin

Food (De)fetishized by Kelsey Hatch

Fair Trade, Paintings by Allen Forrest

Illustrations by Reneé Leigh Stephenson

Collage by Lisa Mase

Paintings by Allen Forrest

Two Images by Betsy DiJulio

Photography by Aaron Graubart

Patterns by Nicole Sczesny

Jiaozi by Julian Jackson

Fruit Basket by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Natural Intelligence by Besty DiJulio

"Andes" by Claire Ibarra

"America" by Claire Ibarra

Artwork by Danielle Boodoo-Fortuné

Photography by Bill Brady

Finger Painting by Tammy Ruggles

Artwork by Betsy DiJulio

Food Illustrations by Jessie Kanelos Weiner

Vegetable Papyrus by I. Batsheva

Photographs by Louise Fabiani

Photographs by Martha Clarkson and Jim Carpenter

Food Stylings by Jessie Kanelos Weiner

Eating Alone by Jeannette Ferrary

Illustrations by Tom Bingham

Schiciatta d'Uva by LeAnne Thomas

The Four Seasons by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Epicurious Potato Heads by Natasha Bacca

Paintings by Cynthia Tollefsrud

Photographs by Eleanor Bennett

Illustrations by Brooke Albrecht

Photographs by Cynthia Staples

Mutatoes by Uli Westphal

Alice Brock

Damon Belanger

Louis Dunn

Stéphanie Kilgast

Mark Kurlansky

Marilyn Murphy

Nina Talbot

Mutatoes

by Uli Westphal

Alimentum is pleased to feature Mutatoes, a dazzlingly provocative work by artist Uli Westphal. Make sure to scroll down for more images of the project, as well as a video and Uli's artist statement.

Artist's Statement

The Mutato-Archive is a collection of non-standard fruits, roots and vegetables, displaying a dazzling variety of forms, colors and textures. The complete absence of botanical anomalies in our supermarkets has caused us to regard the consistency of produce presented there as natural. Produce has become a highly designed, repetitive product. Mutatoes are the last remainders of a once rich and diverse repertoire of colors and shapes that have been replaced by uniform and monochrome industrial cultivars. It is not only the natural occurrence of morphological irregularities in the growth of single plant varieties that is being suppressed and filtered out by our food system. In fact, only a tiny fraction of high yielding, good looking varieties are being grown and distributed today, even though there are literally thousands of varieties of any domesticated fruit or vegetable. A vast majority of plant varieties that humans have bred over the past 10,000 years have vanished within the last 50 years. The detachment of the people from the land, from the processes of food production has allowed this extinction to happen behind the scenes, without any public awareness. The ever increasing amount of processed foods and food imports have also contributed to the illusion that the diversity of our food supply is increasing, not declining.

Today, most of our produce is no longer grown, but manufactured in massive monocultural plantations. Mechanical harvesting methods, tightly controlled growing environments, hybrid seeds and seed monopolies, standardized packaging and lawfully enforced optical trade norms turned fruits, roots, fungi and vegetables into species whose appearances mirror the aesthetics of an industrial age: uniformity, predictability, perfection. We have forgotten, and in many cases, never experienced the way fruits, roots, and vegetables can actually look (and taste). The Mutato-Project serves to document, preserve and promote these last remainders of agricultural plasticity.

Title: Mutatoes
Year: 2006-Present
Material: digital photographs
Dimensions: variable
Credits: all images © Uli Westphal

  Uli Westphal is a freelance artist based in Berlin. His works deal with the way humans perceive, depict and transform the natural world. He studied multimedia and environmental art at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore, and at the Academy of Visual Arts in Enschede, the Netherlands (BFA). He obtained his Masters degree (Art in Context) at the UdK - University of Arts in Berlin. Visit his website at www.uliwestphal.com. You can support Uli's work by purchasing a print of the Mutato Project.