Food and Women

Everyone at one point in their life has turned to food for comfort. Whether it was after a bad break, a bad day or to suppress your feelings, everyone has done it. Lee Price is an American Contemporary Figurative Realist painter. She takes this behavior and adds her own spin to it, making it more dramatic and serious. Her paintings usually follow two common themes-women and food, and women and compulsive behavior. Price grew up in a household of all women after her father left them while she was very young. She believes that this may be the reason why most of her subjects are female. I chose this work of art because of my fascination with artwork that appears to be a photograph but in actuality is a painting or drawing. The artists’ precision and attention to detail is mind-blowing. At first glance, you may think you are looking at a photograph but upon further inspection, you will notice this in fact is an oil painting. I came across quite a few artists that have mastered this technique however; Price’s work caught my attention because of the unique settings and perspective of the paintings. Unlike conventional artists, price paints her subjects from a bird eye view. In an interview, she clears up misconceptions of the meaning behind this choice. Many believe she is trying to portray God’s eye view or the world’s eye view but in reality, she is trying to portray the subject’s point of view as an out of body experience. She states “ It’s the subject looking down on herself—observing herself in the act of the compulsive behavior, being completely aware of what she is doing but unable to stop.” The settings are usually private and this is done on purpose to show the shame involved with the compulsive behavior. Another element that adds to the feeling of shame to the works is that the women’s face is often covered or not seen. The settings are show compulsiveness because they are usually places to eat food. The nudity also depicts the vulnerable state these women have come to. Price has been painting food and women to shed light on body image issues, along with addiction. I love everything about this painting and I understand that art is subjective and personal. However, I wished there was not such a gender bias because these issues also affect men.

Links to images:

http://theotherjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/LemonMeringue32x72.jpg

http://theotherjournal.com/wp-content/blogs.dir/1/files/lee-price-previous-works/snack52x40.jpg

Kesha Patel
Questions
1. Do you think there is still value in artists practicing realist painting when there are cameras that are readily available and can take pictures of essentially the same thing?
2. Does this painting accurately depict the issue of body image, compulsive behavior and addiction?
3. What are the emotions that arise in your mind at first glance of these paintings by Lee Price?

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13 thoughts on “Food and Women

  1. I definitely believe there is value in realistic painting. Cameras are great for the precise rendering of a subject but it doesn’t have the warmth and feeling that comes from a painting. I feel the slight imperfections and blurred lines of a painting represent the humanity of the painter and the subject. A photo is just reporting the subject without interpretation. When i saw the picture in the tub i didn’t think deeply into why she was eating the pie in the tub. It just seemed like maybe she was treating herself to a relaxing bath and some pie after a long day. I saw it as very calming. The painting on the bed did seem a little stressed. She definitely seemed to be trying to compensate for some stressful issue with her snacks. The amount and arrangement made me feel unsettled.

  2. No joke I said “there’s no effing way that is a painting” out loud to myself after seeing the lemon meringue pie painting. I had to zoom in and only then could I see that it was. That is incredible. I definitely believe there is value in this type of work. Cameras do the job just fine, but with a painting you can shift the focus, adjust the light, add in your own signature type of additions to the painting. Cameras are great at this at points, but if the picture comes out dark, or blurred, or there’s a finger half over the lens because my mom took the picture, you are stuck with it. The talent that she has where she could take that bad picture and turn it into something this lifelike with paint is incredible. Far as body image and compulsive behavior, I think the artist nailed it. I say this while surrounded by candy wrappers from Halloween, and it reminds me of the snack painting. And the pie in the bathtub. I don’t have that compulsive behavior, but everyone has done something like this with food. Order a value meal from a drive thru, and add in chicken nuggets too. Order the milkshake instead of a water. Eat all their kids Halloween candy. I think she is doing good work with this to shed a light on something that a lot of people deal with privately, thus the private scenes of these paintings. There seems to be a stigma in the U.S. that you aren’t allowed to admit to problems, be them mental, physical, financial, etc., and she seems to be trying to break down these walls to show that you aren’t alone. If the artists is likely dealing with this since this is her art, maybe others can connect over this with each other.

  3. I would’ve never thought this was a painting. When I first glance at this work of art I really thought it was a picture take by a camera. the scene, color and light is very well done in this painting. I feel Lee made this painting in the private space of these women, which I just notice its her in the painting. But its almost like the women are keeping a secret of their compulsive behavior with food. Her Bird eye view to me it interpreted like if god is looking down to them and is aware of what she is doing , but she is helpless and unable to stop her compulsiveness. I do think everyone has a compulsive behavior in one way or another.

  4. I believe there is still value with realistic paintings. I believe this because an artist can look at a photo and depict that image by adding or subtracting certain things from the actual photo and still make it real realistic. I also believe this because with realistic paintings it causes the audience to look at the image longer than a photo because we are trying to really figure out if that is an actual photograph or is it a painting. Not only that with paintings I feel like there is more emotion and meaning behind the image depending on the artist who took it. I do believe that the two images that are linked to the blog do depict the issue of body image, compulsive behavior and addiction. I believe all three of these can happen with men, but in today’s society we see it everyday with women. Women are always comparing themselves to other women and to models. We deal with our emotions a lot differently than men as well. Looking at these images they are very real to look at and I believe the artist accurately depicts body image and compulsive behavior.

  5. i think there is value in realistic painting, you actually have to paint it and not just push a button. I think the picture with the food certainly depicts behavior and addiction. These photos make me want cake and candy.

  6. I believe there is value in realistic painting becaus its meaning is greater when someone actually takes time to paint something rather than just take a picture. This picture represents body language as well as addiction. Looking at the painting closer you see the stuggle that some people have about food. When i first saw this paining it looked like a picture its amazing how artists can put in deatil to reveal more to a painting.

  7. I am very amazed by how realistic these pieces look. The painting does accurately depict the issues surrounding body image and addiction because it shows as you mentioned it shows a birds eye view of the subject looking down at themselves and unable to stop what they are doing. I think the artist could have gone a little further with the addiction issue and possible have some subjects with drinking, smoking, and gambling addictions. I think there is great value in creating realistic paintings like these because an artist can manipulate certain aspects of the painting to send a message to the viewer. Clicking and just taking a photo is simple but taking the time to create something meaningful gives an artist a sense of accomplishment.

  8. I believe that there is much value in a paining while there are cameras that can capture the same moment in a blink of an eye. By having it be from a person it makes me feel like the artwork is more genuine giving it even more value. The painting does in fact portray the bad image female have on their body, by having the woman crunched together hiding her extremities and body it make me feel like she is afraid to show her whole true self. At first glance the painting by Lee made me feel like the girl was eating to mask pain that she might be feeling. This is true to our everyday life somewhere in the world a girl i having trouble with her life and herself and at time all you can do is sulk and that is what she is doing by indulging herself into food.

  9. I think it’s very honest and admirable of her to admit she has an eating disorder, and portray images of herself at her lowest point. What really stand out about her images are the unusual settings. The bathroom, bedroom, and toilet are not your typical eating spots. I believe she uses these places because they are peaceful, quiet, and away from where people normally sit to enjoy a meal. They are places where no one can witness the chaos of their behavior during the addiction. I still can’t believe these are paintings and not pictures. The images are very sad, but they definitely touch on an important topic.

  10. These are some awesome pieces. At first, I didn’t even consider the idea that these were paintings, much like the presentation I did on the aquatic creatures. It did seem odd to me that if they were photographic pictures, how could they take them from that angle? But I’ve come to believe that human beings can find a way to do anything. I definitely think there is a lot of value in painting but there is also much value in use of a camera. Each style of art captures what the other cannot. A perfect example is, the bird’s-eye view. Most often someone can’t take a picture of someone from a bird’s-eye view just because in many cases it’s not possible. Whereas with a camera, it can capture an exact moment in time. I believe these 2 paintings do depict the issue with body image, and compulsive disorders. Mostly because of how much food is in each one. For the one where the women is in the bath, I imagine if you have a whole pie and you want to eat any part of it in a bath, you’re probably going to eat the whole thing because if you want to get into the bath, you plan on being in there for a while so that gives time to eat the whole pie. I feel sadness when I see these because it seems these women learned somewhere that eating their problems away is the best way to deal with them. It’s unhealthy and self-destructive. When people do things like this it just makes me sad to see them do it instead of dealing with it in a more healthy way.

  11. I think its something about doing it with ones own hands that makes it special. Similar to a machine built car or a hand built car, something about it being hand built makes the car more unique. I can say the same to realistic paintings. It does not matter if there are cameras, being able to mimic a camera with ones own colors and interests is truly valuable. The painting themselves I do think depict addiction quite well. The one with the girl on the bed, you can see the mess around her also you can imagine how she feels, almost sad and lost in my opinion.

  12. Yes I think there is value in artists creating realist paintings, despite the invention of the camera, as they reflect the talent of the artist. Clearly the artist who created these paintings is incredibly talented. I am having trouble coming to terms with the fact that they aren’t photographs.

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