Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

FUN WITH FOOD

Jell-O as Art

Celebrating the heroic role of the food stylist

June 17, 2007|Martin J. Smith | Martin J. Smith is senior editor of the magazine.

Food stylists are equal parts artist, architect, chef, construction foreman and chemist. One Wednesday in 2004, New York-based stylist Marilinda Hodgdon was working on product shots for Kraft Foods' Jell-O with photographer Brian Hagiwara. Hodgdon had done graduate work in metal and ceramic sculpture at Cal State Fullerton, and Hagiwara studied painting and sculpture at UCLA. When the contract work was done, they got more creative. "I asked Brian if he'd be interested in putting together some Jell-O sculptures," Hodgdon says. He agreed, so she made batches of Jell-O in various colors, adjusting the recipe to make it firmer, and chilled it overnight. She knew only thicker gelatin would provide the architectural integrity the sculptures would need to stand up to stacking and Hagiwara's hot lights. The next morning, she cut some of the gelatin into cubes, used cookie cutters to create other shapes, and even tore some of the gelatin slabs into pieces that Hagiwara says looked "broken and cracked like icebergs." They worked through Thursday and Friday creating about 200 images of the resulting sculptures, which they eventually hope to feature in a show. "I love working with gelatin, the jewel-like quality, the transparency, how the colors blend when you put one [cube] on top of the other," Hodgdon says. "I love the bounciness of it, the jiggliness of it."

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|