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No Fare: Fat-Free, Yes . . . but It's Art

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March 22, 1999|BOOTH MOORE

Clare Crespo's grilled cheese sandwich, sushi plate and fried eggs with bacon look good enough to eat--if they weren't made of yarn and stuffed with cotton. These crocheted foods and more are being served up through April 17 at George's gallery in Los Angeles.

Stuck in bed after having wisdom teeth removed, Crespo learned to crochet from her Granny Helen a little more than a year ago.

"I thought it would be a perfect project on Percodan," says the artist, who is an executive producer for Satellite Films when she's not crocheting. Lacking the patience to finish an entire afghan, she started making crocheted sushi cat toys for friends. Next came a series of art cards depicting a variety of crocheted food and the current exhibit, which includes a full menu of 20 life-size plates.

This is not Crespo's first foray into food as art. In her 1997 self-published cookbook "Occasional Baking," she explored the visual possibilities of food with recipes like Jell-O Aquarium and Anatomical Heart Cookies. Her crocheted food is influenced by L.A. artist Liza Lou's sequined kitchen, exhibited at the Santa Monica Museum of Art last year.

Crespo explains, "I love the idea of the everyday women's world turned into something spectacular and unfunctional."

"Clare Crespo: Crocheted Food" through April 17 at George's, 1766 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 666-9447.

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