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Terry Arena

  • 20130110231310-unbeaten_egg
  • 20130110231612-salt
  • 20130111035151-potato-_full
  • 20130111035253-laurel_leaves
  • 20130111035444-the_four_seasons-winter_avocado
  • 20130111035755-the_four_seasons-_autumn_pomegranate

realism, mixed-media


   My graphite drawings on paper question the complexities of contemporary food culture. They consider organically procured produce, genetically modified foods, and homemade meal preparations. The seasonal and genetically modified organism (GMO) pieces are natural or “slow” foods that I have purchased from the farmer’s market or collected from friends’ home gardens.  For the recipe pieces, each drawing is one ingredient, or a component, of a multi-generational recipe that has been passed to me from family and friends.

  Time and presence are integral aspects of the drawing process akin to preparing a meal from “scratch” which requires attentiveness to coordinate temperatures, timing, and serving.  Drawing the subjects as they progressively decompose replicates the immediate nature of home preparations. Recalling nature studies of old masters and botanical illustrations, the detailed drawings record the subject and lend association to many facets of food production from propagation to harvest cycles.

  Graphite and paper are commonplace materials and often undervalued in a rapid-fire, multi-media driven culture. These renderings refer to unadulterated food devoid of fancy packaging or excessive processing. In contrast to processed foods, the elemental and reductive nature of the drawings reflects foods and methods that are closer to the earth. In response to the timetable of factory farming, to-go lifestyles, and ready meals, the drawings represent a radically slower pace.



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