“Everything started with The Scream,” Karsten Wegener says. While grocery shopping one day in his Berlin neighborhood, the photographer stumbled across the familiar face of distress, immortalized by Edvard Munch--now in front of him in ham. “The packaging, the shape of the ham, and the arrangement of egg, cucumber, and carrot were just perfect.”
This flash of pareidolia (the psychological phenomenon of seeing faces in random shapes) led to a larger project for Wegener. He, along with designer Silke Baltruschat and food stylist Raik Holst, represents nine iconic works (mostly paintings) in the Sausage in Art series as still lives of--you guessed it--the quintessential German bratwurst and its brethren.
“We recognized pieces of art in the different appearances of sausage and meat," Wegener tells Co.Design. "For some pictures, the appearance of the food itself was the connection to the artwork. For others it was the combination or arrangement of different foods, the packaging or the name of a dish.”
The series sausage-strings together styles and eras, from Vincent Van Gogh to Damien Hirst. Each piece shows off the kind of painstakingly specific set design that we recently saw in Wegener’s Ricetarrio: A Balanced Diet project. But the narrative arc for each sausage-y image is wildly different. Some, like a hot dog translation of Jeff Koons’s Poodle, are softballs (meatballs?). But others, such as the interpretations of Albrecht Dürer’s Young Hare, offer a grisly, more metaphorical take on the museum-caliber pieces.
Sausage in Art is designed to get you thinking--perhaps about the beauty of the everyday or the ubiquity of commercial supermarket goods, or maybe about the life cycle of animal to hot dog. Or maybe about grilling more this summer. Or maybe it’s just worth a laugh. Or a link.
See more of Karsten Wegener’s work here.