Art, Science, Food: Kevin Van Aelst
By Maria Popova
Jackson Pollock’s near-fractal paintings notwithstanding, science and art have always had a tortured Cold War of a relationship. But photographer Kevin Van Aelst is on a mission to change this — his series of food photography presents scientific and mathematical concepts through creative images of donuts, crackers, gummy bears and other such wildly unscientific snackables.
The images aim to examine the distance between the ‘big picture’ and the ‘little things’ in life — the banalities of our daily lives, and the sublime notions of identity and existence.
We’re also quite taken with his fingerprint series — a visceral reminder of how the physical environments we construct reflect the intimate realities of our personas.
While the depictions of information — such as an EKG, fingerprint, map or anatomical model — are unconventional, the truth and accuracy to the illustrations are just as valid as more traditional depictions. This work is about creating order where we expect to find randomness, and also hints that the minutiae all around us is capable of communicating much larger ideas.
Published October 21, 2009