The Issue #3 Pop Food

Pop Food as a niche.

Pop food is still defined as a niche category. It’s made up of real and imaginary food for which you find scarce results on the internet. However on Instagram, the tag has been used over 17k times. 

Pop food is growing, and will keep going as it tends to courts art and fashion with digital “mash-ups” using food to participate in mainstream topics and themes.

Places to spot Pop Food.

Society’s interest in food, pop culture, pop fashion and pop art has evolved alongside technology, with more and more platforms evolving that allow us to continue to blend and develop these concepts. 

On Pinterest the growing genre is a bit easier to spot. Search specifically for “pop food photography” and “pop food art” to get some specific examples. When fashion and art went digital, literally anything we can dream, can be brought to life. 

Andy Warhol served ‘pop food’.

Pop food was tied into pop art in New York Magazine in 1971. In reference to the food that Andy Warhol served at a party, at his famous warehouse and studio: 

“One night there is a party with ‘pop’ food, hot dogs and beer, pop music with plastic guests in “pop” vinyl clothes, given by a pop collector and his social-climbing wife.”

The reductive pop artist Andy Warhol put the banality of regular American life onto a pedestal. He blended it with the absurd, making the ordinary, extraordinary. This perspective is one of the defining elements of pop food art.

His genius for manipulating the media is only part of the reason Andy is probably the most famous artist in the twentieth century.” (54)

“…He understands the machinery of myth-making; he can multiply their images so many times that he can make them believe they exist.”

Vulgar Food vs Pop Food

Pop food is an exaggerated or eccentric composition that retains a pleasing aesthetic and level of taste. The defining characteristic between pop food and vulgar food is that pop food is intended as art – and as art does, it relays a message. Pop food also generally aims to elicit a reaction, rather than nourish.

Just like popular foods, pop art appears to be the most accessible type of art. It’s simple in terms of taste, impression, and availability.

Brands and consumers are hungry for it.

Supreme Unveiled an $8 Oreo Cookie as Part of Its Spring Series, February 18, 2020, Luxury.
 twitter & highsnobiety

Food content is some of the most shared in the world because it is something that unites us. Getting creative with food is almost always a win. Even luxury fashion labels have tapped into pop food trends. There have now been endless collaborations and commissions between food and beverage brands, and art and fashion.

Supreme and Oreo for example, collaborated to create deep red cookies. A red wafer sandwiched a white, cream-stuffed middle with the brand’s name and eponymous logo stamped on each side. Sold originally for €8/box, they were last heard going for close to €1k on eBay. 

There’s no doubt about it, people are hungry for pop food.

New York Magazine, May 31 1971, pg 54-55
Barbara Rose, | Art 
“In Andy Warhol’s Aluminum Foil, We Have All Been Reflected”

American Food Habits in Historical Perspective, Praeger, 1995, pg 204
Elaine N. McIntosh 

American Food: The Gastronomic Story, Dutton 1975, pg 137

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