Ernie Button, who kindly permitted the above image to appear here, has in his extensive portfolio a gallery of images featuring breakfast cereal in realistic situations. As Ernie explains in his statement:
Art is shaped by a persons life experiences and I am no different. When I was a youngster, cereal was a luxury item. A brand name cereal was a rarity in our house as they were consistently more expensive. Something like King Vitamin (a popular 70′s cereal) or Capn Crunch made for pure breakfast heaven as a child. On a recent trip to the grocery store, there sat King Vitamin next to a new version of Capn Crunch, Choco Donuts. Looking at the rest of the cereal aisle, it is clear that breakfast cereal has changed from mere nutrition to sheer entertainment. The cereal aisle has become a cornucopia of vibrantly colored marshmallows that resemble people and objects and characters from movies, as if they were calling out to have their portraits taken, to be the center of attention. However, on the other side of the aisle sits the more adult cereals (i.e. fiber, bran). Having lived in Arizona for over 35 years, those cereals upon close inspection resemble some of the shapes and colors and textures of the southwestern desert. I began to construct landscapes that would utilize the natural earth tones of certain cereals. I placed enlarged photographs of actual Arizona skies in the background of the cereal landscapes giving the final image an odd sense of reality. It is apparent that cereal is not just for breakfast anymore. Cereal has evolved into pop culture objects instead of just nutritious corn pops.
I took a few years off from the world of Cerealism to pursue other photography projects. During that time, I experienced some changes in my health that forced me to examine what I was eating and change the foods that I consume. It pushed me to look closely at what nutrition means. I am much more informed and aware of what I consume. Even though I dont eat cereal that much anymore, I still find breakfast cereal fascinating on a visual level: is it food, is it entertainment, is it nourishment, is it really a dessert or is it all of the above? I dont want it to seem like Im picking on cereal but the macro world of cereal provides me with the perfect vehicle to examine and highlight what it is that people eat; from the frosting-like coating that covers the marshmallows to the brightly colored cereals that turn milk a variety of pastel hues other than white.
Above, the Great Pyramid Of Oatmeal Squares.
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