Special Assortment, 2004; Mixed media sculpture with resin and acrylic; Titled, “Special Assortment," dated © 2004, and signed Peter Anton in black marker verso; Size - Box: 21 1/2 x 15 x 4 1/4".
"I like to create art that can lure, charm, tease, disarm, and surprise... I have an innate reverence for the things we eat... Food brings people together and there is no better way to celebrate life... The sensual nature of the works stimulates basic human needs and desires that generate cravings and passion."
- Peter Anton
Using food as subject matter is not a new idea; from the wonderfully painted 17th century food still life pictures to the POP and photorealistic artists of the 1960's, food has been front and center on the canvas. Sweets and desserts were wonderfully rendered by Wayne Thiebaud by building up the paint when making his cake paintings, in order to portray the look of real icing. Claus Oldenburg is famous for his draftsman and sculpting skills that are used to portray food as works of art. His sculptures are loose interpretations with paint splatters and spills that reinforce the hand of the artist.
With this work, Peter Anton has chosen as his subject matter the "Sweetheart Sampler," an instantly recognizable chocolate assortment contained in a heart shaped box and created as a photorealistic wall hanging sculpture. One of the most interesting aspects of his work is the size and therefore the scale to the viewer. The box is a whopping 21 1/2 x 15 x 4 1/4" and individual chocolates are about 5" each. By placing the box not on a table but on the wall, he emphasizes the idea of presentation and therefore submits the art to the viewer. This increase in size as well as the realistic interpretation, makes the viewer just want to take a bite!
Anton's chocolate boxes are known for having a bitten cherry cordial and an empty paper wrapper. These two features further conveys to the viewer that this box is for eating and not just for looking. This box also contains the green foil covered chocolate, the milk chocolate almond topped square, the milk truffle topped with lemon curd and the orange swirl. Details such as powder sugar hanging onto the sides of the box, the gooey cherry cordial center oozing out of the half eaten piece, and the squished in and tasted blue cream truffle on the left; just makes our mouth water!