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Edible Art



Do you yearn for your own Monet or Matisse? Would you like your mother immortalized by Whistler? Thanks to a new Dallas company, this isn’t such a far-fetched idea.

What began as a hobby in college has become a career for art history majors Julie Richey and Laura Larsen. Their East Dallas company Oggetti (Italian for “objects”) creates edible art cakes, mimicking the style of notable works of art.

Recreating such masterpieces as Matisse’s “Pink Nude,” Vincent van Gogh’s “Sunflowers,” Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” and Auguste Renoir’s “The Boating Party” requires a knowledge of art, science and engineering, as well as intuition, notes Larsen.

Depending upon the intensity of the color and texture of the surface of the painting to be emulated, the pair might use frosting, smooth white chocolate, edible gold leaf, dehydrated fruit or other culinary elements.

Larsen and Richey have been known to work round-the-clock to finish a cake. Not an easy task since they both hold down full-time jobs and also create mosaic floors and table tops through Oggetti.

“Our favorite part is delivering the cake and seeing the expressions on people’s faces,” says Richey. Cakes start al S100 each and can be ordered by calling 212-4881.

-Helen Bond

By the Book

As a child, Susan Grant used to make crayon drawing-filled books for her friends and family. Now the Dallas photographer and artist creates handmade books illustrating universal themes. Her book, Detroit: Giving Fear a Proper Name, which deals with various phobias, is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum National Art Library in London. “I like to make work that questions the viewer,” says Grant in her book-filled downtown Dallas studio. “1 don’t try to provide the answers.” Grant’s An Alphabet Book, a monolithic tome that illustrates each letter with phrases and photographs, is part of the New York Public Library’s Spencer Collection.

Because she’s a full-time professor of photography and bookmaking at Texas Woman’s University, Grant’s creative process is a slow one. She spends two to three years on each book, many of which Incorporate her own photographs layered with such substances as pins, barbed wire and fur. “I love the details of bookmaking-the sewing and the gluing,” she says. Grant Is currently in the process of finishing 20 books in her most recent series which focuses on the killing of animals for food and testing. Her books start at about $800 and can be purchased through Granary Books in New York City, (212) 226-5462; or by calling the artist, (817) 808-2350. -Ellise Pierce

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