Mouth-Watering Art in Santa Monica

On September 16, 2014 by Evan Senn

Torn (2)

Artist Carole Bayer Sager’s paintings are notorious for making people hungry for food, life, and love. She can engage our visual senses so deeply that our mouths and noses begin to crave the other sensory experiences embedded in the culinary satisfaction of her subjects. I don’t even eat cheese or bread, and her grilled cheese paintings make me want to smell, touch, lick and devour a grilled cheese with a monsterous force.

“Carole Bayer Sager doesn’t paint food, she paints how we look at and see food,” writes art critic Peter Frank. “[She] is, if anything, more invested in the sensuality of the paint than in the sensuality of the subject matter. The paint itself is rich, thick, tactile, the surfaces often glazed. If the goodies she depicts inspire nostalgia for gustatory indulgence, the rich feel of the paint awakens a deeper, more directly and intensely felt sensation.”

Silver Kisses (2)


Portrait of Two Kisses With Reflection (2)

Sager will be debuting a new body of work that focuses on the up close and personal expression of the relationship between humans and popular food items. The exhibition at William Turner Gallery will open on September 18, 2014, and will feature photorealistic paintings of delicious treats like grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate kisses, and other sweets. The detailed paintings by Sager are bright and sharp like a photograph, but are also rich and sultry, giving the work a sense of sensuality in its smooth and vibrant portrayals. She takes a careful look at each food item, either close up, or perfectly placed from far away, Sager is able to capture a feeling within each snapshot of decadence and deliciousness.

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It feels as though each painting is a dance around seduction, from a primal level. Food is what brings us all together, is what we all have in common–we need and love food. Sager finds a way to perfectly render her subjects in a luminosity that is only reflected in reality.

Golden Kisses (2)

In her candy paintings, she destroys the actual candies, as if remnants from a stampede of children near a pinata. They are demolished, half eaten, and slightly melty–showing lapse of time, and human interaction. There are no pristine paintings of untouched foods here. Sager shows her items with a human touch to them, not just in the items themselves–many of the candies are in or near their wrapper, showing they have been manufactured by man–but also in their display. The grilled cheese is cut and oozing down the center, ready and waiting to be devoured. The M&M portraits are perfectly placed, but broken in half, seeming by hand–it’s not a perfect cut, it’s the result of a hungry and careless human, who just wanted a peek at that shining, golden peanut inside the sweet candy shell.

Portrait of a MM Peanut (2)


Pulled (2)

As a fine artist, “Carole has firmly established her voice in the language of paint,” says William Turner. “She draws upon the universal aspects of our culture, and her love of the visual world is very clear. These macro and micro views of seemingly everyday subjects are rich with memory and associations. Her talent for visual expression is exceptional in its depth and facility.”

Don’t miss out on “New Works: Paintings by Carole Bayer Sager” at the William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station, and wet your appetite with art.

WILLIAM TURNER GALLERY: 2525 Michigan Avenue, E1, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Gallery Hours: Monday-Saturday, 11am to 6pm / 310-453-0909
Visit or for more information.

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