Chocolate-Covered Toy Soldiers by Stephen J Shanabrook [food art]
Currently on display at the Daneyal Mahmood gallery in New York City is the installation "Battle of Losers and Lovers" by Stephen J Shanabrook (also see our recent post about his other chocolate and food-based work). In this installation, Shanabrook covers (or entombs) common plastic toy soldiers in actual dark chocolate, flooding the gallery with the heady and comforting aroma that's decidedly at odds with the display of carnage. The soldiers, fighting an unknown enemy, are laid out on stacked office tables, and serve in an exploration of identity, death, desire, fear, and violence. In the show's press release, Shanabrook gives some background :
Shanabrook remembers reading an account of a field medic from the Vietnam War. "He was explaining what he carried with him in his medic satchel, these bare necessities as he called them included: gauze, morphine, tape, comic books and M&Ms. The candies were for the mortally wounded soldiers, the ones that would never make it to the field hospitals. For these soldiers the candy was a way to satisfy a simple desire to feel closer to home, before they slipped away into that unknown jungle."
In addition, the gallery has a series of sculptures by Shanabrook made from melted plastic prescription pill bottles that are then pressed into Easter bunny molds, but we'll get to that in a later post.
We've covered previous exhibits at the same gallery including "Meat After Meat Joy", a group exhibit of artists who used meat in their art work, and Stephen J Shanabrook's chocolate waterboarding sculptures.
"Liquid Lushes & Late Night House Of Pills" runs September 17th - October 18th, 2009
Daneyal Mahmood Gallery
511 West 25th St., New York City