It sounds like a concept for one of Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries. It sounds like a throwaway line on an episode of Paula Deen’s cooking show. It even sounds like something Martha Stewart might suggest to make life so much better.
What it doesn’t sound like is something that people do competitively or for a living… but it’s real.
What it is? Butter sculpture.
That’s right. Sculpting with butter. See that manatee and diver above? They are painstakingly carved out of butter and displayed in a refrigerated case. Well, they were back in january at the Manatee County Fair in Palmetto, FL. That gorgeous sculpture is the work of food artist Jim Victor, and he’s done some truly amazing work. Seriously, he sculpted Paula Deen’s grandson in butter, Milton Hershey in chocolate, and the Mona Lisa is all Italian food products. When you get done marveling at those, be sure to see what he does in wood and mixed media, too.
But the butter. For another idea of how amazing this medium can be to sculpt in, take a look at Sri Lankan artist Vipula Ahtukorale’s magnificent Pied Piper in pastry margarine:
And, with the new movie Butter opening in limited markets last weekend, we add to this notable list… Jennifer Garner.
The film follows Garner as the reigning queen of butter sculpture at the county fair while she is challenged by upstart newcomer Yara Shahidi. So far the reaction from audiences has been lackluster. All the same, I may just go see it when it comes to my neck of the woods. I have some burning questions about butter sculpture and I’d like to see it in action.
Still, I would have loved to see Christopher Guest and his crazed band of co-conspirators get ahold of this concept. Imagine what Fred Willard might have sculpted!
Actually, that just might not bear imagining.