Thirsty for Art: “Tasty Faces” by Pavel Bondar.

For most of us, food is nothing more than the fuel we need to sustain our development, but for the young Ukrainian artist Pavel Bondar, it is an impressive art form – the perfect environment for his vision to come true.

In his Tasty Faces project, the self-taught artist creates stunning portraits of celebrities from food items – from coffee to bananas to oatmeal.
“The idea to create portraits from food came to me completely unexpectedly. I wanted to express my inner feelings in a visual form, and I found that food is the most suitable vehicle for this, ”says Bondar.

Chocolate Beyonce and Van Gogh made from bread

Pavel Bondar is a melancholic person at heart who enjoys loneliness and tranquility, but sometimes he can easily get carried away by emotions.
“It happened to me once when I was listening to Beyoncé’s music. As an artistic experiment, I took a bar of chocolate and began to paint a portrait of it, ”recalls Pavel, adding that chocolate is best suited for the perception of a singer and an actress.

After the first “tasty” experiment was successful, Bondar fully unleashed his imagination. Now the materials the artist uses include coffee, wine, bread, sushi, fruits and more, and among the celebrities he painted are pop diva Lady Gaga, Queen Elizabeth II and French singer Mylene Farmer.

As a rule, Pavel trusts his intuition when choosing the key “ingredient” for a new portrait. Food is always associated in one way or another with the character depicted. For example, the bread and tea that Paul used to create the portrait of Vincent van Gogh were almost obvious.

“For a long time, the famous Dutch artist suffered from poverty, eating only bread and water. So bread crusts and strong tea were part of his daily life. ”

In love with every character

Paul’s creative and innovative workflow still requires a lot of dedication and attention to detail. A good example is his sushi portrait of the Chinese actress and superstar Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) Zhang Ziyi.

“The sushi portrait took me a few days. Rice was laid out on a piece of paper bit by bit, mixed with sesame seeds, seaweed and soy sauce. I wanted to convey the atmosphere typical of Japanese food culture, ”says the artist.

According to Pavel, who spends hours on each of his unconventional works of art, this process is more important than the end result. Naturally, portraits made from food are short-lived.
Sometimes this process not only takes a lot of time and energy, but is also quite extravagant.
“I was very impressed when I painted a portrait of the Perfumer (a character from the 2006 film Perfumer: A Murderer’s Story, played by actor Ben Whishaw) with vanilla and cinnamon right on the girl’s body.”

“I really like the process of creating a portrait, and I am in love with every character,” says Pavel, adding that he recently realized how exciting it is to feel the simplicity and fluidity of every brush or stroke he makes.
Pavel Bondar is already full of new ideas and is exploring new edible artistic possibilities. He also has some tips for those who need to get energized through art as well as food: “Look deeper at the mundane things, feel and love the people around you, and the inspiration will never leave you!”

Jeanne Coiviola for