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The Challenger Explosion, Rendered In Cauliflower

We can't decide: Is this distasteful or just tasty?

Oh, look, someone’s gone and arranged raw vegetables in the shape of famous explosions. This is either the best or the worst thing ever. Worst because it sort of makes light of horrible moments in history—Nagasaki, the Challenger disaster, the Hindenburg. Best because, well, damned my eyes if that doesn’t look exactly like the Hindenburg.


The photographer is Brock Davis, a Minneapolis-based art director who likes to play with his food on the side (shhh, don’t tell mom). On his Flickr page, you’ll find a menu of edible hacks from a circuit-filled Twinkie to a coffee-cup sleeve tailored like a fine coat to a circular arrangement of Rice Krispies aptly called Rice Krispyhenge.

Davis raids the local supermarket as one might an art-supply store. For the cauliflower series, it was "just your basic grocery store bin cauliflower heads," he tells Co.Design. "I definitely have arranged them to look a bit more bizarre than the typical cauliflower head. All the pieces are left in their natural state, just held together with skewers and arranged to create the look of the original explosions." With the exception of the Hindenburg: "That one I carved with an X-acto knife and a toothpick to get the blimp shape," he says. Good to know there’s something to do with cauliflower besides hiding it in a napkin.


Davis plans to sell the photos in a series of limited-edition prints. Check his website for updates.

[Images courtesy of Brock Davis; hat tip to Kottke]

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  • Matthew Foster

    Collaboration with José Andrés for Guernica in tapas. John Wayne Gacy's basement as a carefully mapped-out shrimp étoufée. The 1917 Halifax Explosion in maple rock candy. The Battle of Gettysburg with little blueberry muffins for the Union and fried mushrooms for the Confederacy. The sinking of RMS Lusitania in fondue. It's like Hansel and Gretel went to the Gulag Archipelago.

  • Matthew Foster

    I, for one, cannot wait for the Children's Crusade done in lunch meat and crackers, sponsored by Lunchables. Learn-a-licious!

  • Chris Preston

    For me the explosions he's selected because of distance of time and repetition of display have become iconic and ceased to be emotionally connected with loss of life.  If they are still connected to the event then his art certainly doesn't diminish those lives any more than a photograph does. I'd argue it celebrates them and insures their memory as only art can. Does Picasso's Guernica reduce or enhance the memory of the loss of life in the Spanish Civil War?  I'd argue the latter.

  • Richard Anderson

    It is distasteful (no pun intended). Is depiction of the destruction of the World Trade Center next on their list?

  • Tim Anderson

    I can't quite wrap my brain around this and decide if I like it or hate it.

    On the one hand it is distasteful; people were killed in this explosions so making light of it just feels wrong.

    On the other hand, though, I think there is value in reminding people of past catastrophes and loss of life. Those reminders can come in different formats. How is it fundamentally different if we remind people of history with a documentary as opposed to an art exhibit? Both mediums can convey a sense of loss and remind the next generation of what happened in generations past. And, isn't that really the point?