Eriko Kobayashi’s incredibly lifelike sculptures of fried eggs, bacon, and gummy bears are made from the last thing you’d want to take a bite out of. Formed entirely of glass, the Seattle-based artist’s hyperrealistic works explore our relationship with routine meal times, comfort foods, and the nostalgia of brands like Pop Tarts.
“I believe that we make decisions about our clothing, food, and everyday requirements based on a feeling of intimacy and sympathy with the products,” Kobayashi tells Colossal. Tapping into universally recognizable items, like the ubiquitous breakfast menu of eggs and bacon, the artist draws on her own nostalgia, portraying fare she often has close at hand. She views glass as a medium that can both encapsulate and accumulate experience.
Kobayashi uses a technique called hot casting, in which individual pieces are fused together at high temperatures in a handmade mold. “I always seek new invigoration and try to make pieces that deepen thought, give off a positive feeling, and arouse curiosity,” she says. “The discipline required to convincingly create an object in glass demands that I spend a long, concentrated period of time making that object.”
Working with glass requires a lot of patience in the pursuit of precision. For example, in the process of making solid, cubic gummy bear pieces, Kobayashi underwent much trial and error. “Incorrect fusing temperatures resulted in gummy bears melting too much, mistakes in the mold shape caused temperature variations, and miscalculating the annealing time led to cracks in the glass,” she says. “Through experimentation, I ended up creating my own molds and calculating the temperature to achieve the desired form.”
Kobayashi’s work will be included in the forthcoming 2024 edition of Ripleys Believe It Or Not! and is currently part of Potluck at Hashimoto Contemporary in Los Angeles. And if you’re in Seattle, you can see her work in the Pratt Fine Arts Center window showcase in a presentation titled Chewy Thoughts, opening this month and continuing through June. Find more on the artist’s website and Instagram.
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