Cristina Burns is a young artist of Spanish origin who was raised in Italy. We got to know her through her "sweet mandala", a series of artworks called Phosphene, in which patterns and sweets are repeated in kaleidoscopic compositions. Her career started with the study of colours, toys and "little monsters", as she likes to call them. And what about her passion for food art? It starts out from market stalls and their food arrangements.
We got in touch with Cristina to find out more about her work and where she gets her inspiration from.
When did you first become interested in the art-food combo?
The pairing of art and food springs from a passion I have nurtured for many years, that of visiting markets. I love to observe the displays of the various foodstuff and I am fascinated by their colours and aromas. Moreover, I believe food is associated with the concept of survival; this prompts people to drown their worries and obsessions in it.
How does food influence your work and life?
I put all of my passions into my photos and food is one of the them. In particular, I love to use sweets, because they confer a playful atmosphere to my work but, at the same time, I include insects in my creations; the message I want to get across is that all of this beauty can be attacked and is in danger of destruction.
Phosphene: how did this project first see the light?
The Phosphene series is inspired by ghost images, a visual phenomenon characterized by the perception of tiny luminous dots in the absence of light; these works take me back to my childhood when I used to close my eyes tightly until small coloured spots appeared. First of all I create an assemblage, then I start to multiply the elements in kaleidoscopic arrangements until I obtain the composition I have in mind.
Are there any artists or food-artists who particularly inspire you?
Arcimboldo is an artist I have always found fascinating; I love to observe his grotesque and surreal heads made up of different types of food.
Are there any more food-related projects in your future?
Certainly. I am already working on a new series…
Is there any restaurant you would recommend, in Italy or elsewhere?La Table de Frank in Steinfort (Luxembourg) and Kobe in Viterbo.
Here above are some more works by the artist, comprising her latest creation entitled Regina di Zucchero (Sugar Queen).
Dal is one of those recipes that goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilisation. Unlike dishes such as biryani, brought to India by the Moghuls, it is one of those foods that has always been there. It is therefore a building block of Indian culture.