Christa Maiwald

"Color is the world, it's everything. It sets a mood, shows feelings, expresses ideas. Black and white make all colors pop. And, as early black-and-white films make clear, especially the lighting, they too set a tone and convey emotions. Obviously, in art the materials you use can change the colors you use as you move from one medium to another.

I've worked in hand embroidery and digital photography for over 20 years.  Portraiture has figured in both. So has food. My embroidered portraits began with my 'Adolescent' series, featuring a group of teenagers I worked with for four years. Once they left for college, my hand-embroidered portraits have ranged from dictators and politicians to comedians, artists, and chefs. For my 'Landscape Cakes' series of photographs, I baked cakes inspired by specific landscapes and seasons and photographed them in the spots that inspired them, where they blended in a trompe l'oeil effect.

'Organic Portraits,' which I began in summer 2023, bring together portraiture and food. My subjects, as in much of my work, are artists in the broad sense—visual artists, musicians, actors, and more.

I draw the faces with edible ink on delicate edible paper, which blends almost immediately with any of a variety of edible surfaces: pizza, tarts, cakes, frozen milk, colored ice cubes, chocolate orbs, and ice cream, all of which I make myself. Other edible elements are added to the surfaces, such as candy, flowers, colored sprinkles, and more. The materials and compositions are inspired by the kind of art the subjects are known for and anecdotes about their lives." - Christa Maiwald

 Cake Shop (for Claes Oldenburg), 2019, hand embroidery,  20 x 23 in
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Coffee/Cake (for Jackson Pollock), 2018, hand embroidery, 20 x 23 in
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Rafael Ferrer Deconstructed (edible ink on edible paper on colored ice cubes), 2023, digital photograph on archival paper, 12 x 12 in, 1 of 3
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