• 10.14.13

You Will Devour These Dessert Versions of the World’s Most Famous Art

Photographer Sarah Anne Ward talks to Co.Create about recreating Jeff Koons’s oversized balloon dog with Twinkies, and other sweet masterpieces.

There are many sources of unexpected beauty in the kitchen. This past year alone, we’ve seen art emerge from food itself, from the way it’s arranged on the plate, and even from the plate itself. Now, however, it’s time for dessert.


Sarah Anne Ward is a commercial photographer who looks at Skittles and sees Damien Hirst. Her wide range of clients have included cookbooks and food magazines alongside the Museum of Modern Art. Eventually, the food styling and art appreciation blended in the photographer’s mind, resulting in recreations of some of the most famous art pieces in the world–made with desserts.

Ward says when she’s shooting a recipe for a commercial job she’s staring at food images for long periods of time; eventually a reference to a famous work of art will appear. “Most of the time it’s a stretch to see the Picasso reference of that cheese plate, and the art director, food stylist, and prop stylist usually don’t see it,” she says. “Therefore, I challenged myself to shoot food items that reference famous works of art and make it recognizable to a general audience.”

Deciding on which artwork to recreate or which desserts to use is a matter of whatever pops into the photographer’s head. Sometimes she thinks of the artist first and then the dessert, and other times vice versa.

“When I saw a pile of chocolate shavings the other day, I thought of Richard Serra’s work so I did a piece inspired by it, Ward says. “When someone asked who my favorite artist was recently, I mentioned Cindy Sherman and thought about how I could make a dessert inspired by her work, and a self-portrait with candy came to mind.”

Of course, this photographer isn’t the only one taking pictures of food at the moment. And perhaps that’s all the more reason for her to continue elevating the art form.

“Nowadays people just vomit food imagery with Instagram and Facebook, etc.,” Ward says. “I am always trying to find new ways to shoot, style, and just reimagine the food and our relationships and experiences with it.”

Have a look at more delicious masterpieces in the slides above.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.