new-york

Gina Beavers, Food Porn! (Chicken & Waffles), 2012, acrylic and pumice on canvas, 16 1/4 x 16".

Gina Beavers

Clifton Benevento

Gina Beavers, Food Porn! (Chicken & Waffles), 2012, acrylic and pumice on canvas, 16 1/4 x 16".

The paintings in Gina Beavers’s solo exhibition “Palate,” we are told, were based on images of food found online, mostly through social media. Sounds ho-hum, no? Why must a painter so strenuously declare the jpeg provenance of her reference points? What gave rise to the trending sentiment that Google Image Search serves up a more convincing representation of the world than anything encountered en plein air? What genre—if that term even applies—of online photography could be more gratingly anodyne than the compulsively shared cataloging of last night’s dinner? Is this some flailing attempt to inject contemporary relevance into the exhausted tradition of still life? Well, in a manner of speaking, yes—and with splendidly gross results.

The Titian scholar David Rosand is fond of quoting Willem de Kooning’s observation “Flesh was the reason oil painting was invented.”

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the February 2013 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.