Know It When You Taste/See It?

hershey kissHeard a mediocre talent describe herself on a TV chat show as an artist. It is probably true, which told us two things: 1) we realized it no longer means anything special to be identified — particularly self-hailed — as an artist, and 2) what’s going on with chocolate art.

And the answer is we don’t really know. Is Alexander Lervik’s Lumière au Chocolatea art, a fixture, conceptual dessert?

Is it “art” or just “decoration” if chocolate is used to create abstract designs in a kitchen?

What about when chocolate is used like any other sculptured material? (It is quite the niche.) Would this be museum quality art if it didn’t melt or wasn’t edible?

It seems that basic advertising for chocolate shops, products or themed events is immediately labeled art when taken out of context, framed and hung on a wall? But why, exactly?

The point is probably made. After a good 30 seconds of thought and 25 or 30 minutes of web surfing we failed in figuring out the defining characteristics of what is and what is not “chocolate art,” other than, of course, chocolate is involved. Taste is involved, but it is not clear at all from what is labeled as “art” or produced by an “artisan” how to define that. Basically, we’re back where we started, with the concept of art that we started with: it’s something person-created that dramatically and consequentially changes the audience’s perception of the world around them — and in the case of chocolate art it has at least a bit of cacao in it.

Actually, we’re not quite back where we started: we’re behind on getting everything baked up for Valentine’s Day, now less than 200 hours away.

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