Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Speak of the Underwood devil..

Today I was perusing the latest Bust magazine (the one that has Amy Sedaris popping out of a cake). I wanted the magazine for the Amy Sedaris article, but, in looking at the rest of the magazine, I spied a familiar logo in an article titled A Stitch in Time by journalist Susan Beal. The logo that caught my attention was none other than the Underwood devil!

A Stitch in Time covers an exhibition of contemporary sewn art currently at the Ellipse Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia (through July 12, 2008). The exhibition, The Thread as the Line: Contemporary Sewn Art, 'exposes the expanding interest in using traditional sewing and embroidery in contemporary fine art'.

Jennifer Boe, an artist who works largely in fiber, is the creator of 'Deviled Fun For Everyone!', a piece that unexpectedly combines meticulous embroidery with a deviled ham sandwich (on what looks like pumpernickel). In the Bust article, 'Deviled Fun' was poised next to 'She's No Angel', an amazingly precise tuna sandwich paired with the Chicken Of The Sea logo.

Not just a pretty lunch, Boe's artwork deals with her:
disenchantment in having been raised to believe that I can do anything I set my mind to but coming to adulthood in a society that won't quite let me...The two sandwich pieces I've made for the show, 'She's No Angel' and 'Deviled Fun For Everyone,' concern not just the foods themselves but the brands, the nostalgia, and the nutritional value or lack thereof. Also, I hope the viewers will ask themselves, 'Who made the food, where was it made, and who was it for?'

The Ellipse Arts Center has a blog, but, while it does cover the exhibition, it doesn't show many of the artist's images. Check out the blog post if you're interested in learning more about the artist, the ideology and influences behind her artwork, and information on the entire exhibition.

I tracked down the pieces I was looking for at the Leopold Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri. Have a look at Jennifer Boe's 'Deviled Fun For Everyone!' (Underwood Deviled Ham), 'She's No Angel!' (Chicken Of The Sea), and her series devoted to Hostess snack cakes ('Let Them Eat Cake I', a Twinkie; 'Let Them Eat Cake II', a Cup Cake; and 'Let Them Eat Cake III', a Sno Ball). All five images can be enlarged by clicking on them. Or, if you prefer, you can view the images in a small slideshow. Slideshow images can be clicked on for further information. Boe's creations are so realistic, and the fact that it is embroidery is still astounding to me! But, I always knew these brands belonged on display!

[Current Chicken of the Sea Mermaid logo courtesy of Chicken of the Sea -- TV Acres shows the metamorphosis of the Chicken of the Sea Mermaid from the 1950s-2000]