Stunning works of mosaic art made entirely out of toast
It's the greatest thing since ... yeah, we went there.
With an archive of more than 700 recipes that comprise our Israeli Kitchen, it's clear we're quite familiar with toast, and all the lovely things you can put on it. Spinach on toast, poached eggs on toast, Nutella or tahini or some ingenious combination of the two on toast ... the world of toast toppings is boundless.
So it should be no surprise, then, that someone – actually, several someones – decided to make toast their artistic medium. As in, they made art out of it. Big, elaborate, stunning mosaic art. Artists around the world have created enormous, detailed and surprisingly gorgeous works of art entirely out of toast. Here's a sampling of their brilliant (and appetizing, if you haven't had breakfast yet) work.
Albert Einstein, by Adam Sheldon
Albert Einstein's famous tongue photo was the obvious choice to create a toast mosaic dedicated to the legendary physicist. (Photo: Ripley's Believe It or Not)
Ripley's Believe It or Not has a traveling show right now of the best artwork created out of unusual things, including ordinary household objects like popsicle sticks, cigarette wrappers, dog hair, black beans, jelly beans, laundry lint, toothpicks and, of course, toast. And what better way to "toast" one of the world's most remarkable minds than with an 8-foot portrait of Albert Einstein, whose contribution to everything from pop culture to higher education to beer seems to only grow over time? Indeed, this masterpiece created by British sculptor Adam Sheldon even managed to make good use out of the burnt pieces that no one ever eats.
"Einstein's face is the most recognizable face worldwide," Hanoch Gutfreund, the director of the Albert Einstein Archives at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, told From The Grapevine. "The interest in Einstein does not fade into history. If one can say anything about this, the interest in Einstein increases with time. It's greater now."
Mona Lisa, by Maurice Bennett
New Zealand artist Maurice Bennett, one of the best known artists in his native country, said he started working with mosaic art after spending his early years arranging store shelves in his parents' shop, paying attention to patterns on all the rows and stacks. "One morning I was in my kitchen making toast, and while the toast was being cooked, I took a little time out and started flipping through a magazine," he said during an appearance on "The Gravy," a pop-culture TV series in New Zealand. "I came across this image, and it said to me, 'Hey, I could be made out of slices of toast.' So I got the toaster, got the toast out instead of eating it, and I laid it out on my kitchen floor. And I started to cook more and more slices of toast, laying them out on my kitchen floor in the pattern I saw in the magazine. And I just knew I had something there."
No word on what he did with all the crumbs.
The Toaster, by Ingrid Falk and Gustavo Aguerre
How many loaves of bread does it take to make a mosaic using 3,053 slices of toast?
While you chew on that, here's some background. Swedish artist Ingrid Falk and her husband, Argentinian Gustavo Aguerre, created this gigantic piece that's as meta as it gets – a toaster made of toast – in 1999. A year later, for the International Art Biennial in Buenos Aires, Argentina, they created a smaller version out of a meager 2,500 toasts. It became the show's most popular work and was acquired by the Modern Art Museum of Buenos Aires for its permanent collection.
Amy Winehouse, by unknown artist
Like many great mosaics, you've got to take a few steps back to fully appreciate the brilliance of this one, lest you'll just be looking at a whole bunch of bread glued to a wall (and give yourself a massive headache). An unknown artist made this piece depicting British soul singer Amy Winehouse, complete with signature beehive, for the Berlin Music Festival in 2011, the year she died.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by Corey Rauh
When you're a schoolteacher, sometimes you have to make do with what's on hand. In the case of Corey Rauh, a middle-school art teacher in Columbus, Ohio, that on-hand material happened to be stale bread. So he turned it into a teachable moment, choosing as his subject a groundbreaking historical figure his students were already learning about, and assigned it as a class project. He even blogged about it so that all you DIY superfans can follow along.
World's largest toast mosaic, by Japanese kindergartners
Speaking of teachable moments, these kindergartners in Japan certainly got a lesson in patience and perseverance as they worked to create the world's largest toast mosaic art. These littles used 8,500 pieces of toast to create their masterpiece on a wall of a bread theme park in suburban Tokyo. Yes, we said bread theme park. Don't count your carbs.
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