With names like ‘Pancake No.5’, ‘Moschino English Muffin’ and ‘Louis Vuitton Baguette’ you could be forgiven for thinking that American artist Chloe Wise’s sculptures were baked designer goods. They are in fact plastic-urethane structures covered with oil paint and marketed with tongue-in-cheek puns.
Born in Montreal in 1990, Wise has had a pretty meteoric rise to fame. Her no-shits-given, internet friendly artwork chimes with millenials and her growing following on Instagram (101k at the time of writing) is a mark of her popularity. To date, she has exhibited in galleries across Europe and the U.S., spreading her highly satirical art. “All of my work… is a combination of sculpture and comedy,” she explains. Glittery tampons and ironic self-portrait paintings along with a plethora of parody-style videos and sculptures make her portfolio dynamic.
But what really put her on the map was her ‘Bread Bags’ collection. Launched back in 2014, the collection features bags, clutches, totes, and purses that have been given the Wise makeover. Using plastic urethane, Wise sculpts her accessories into stacks of pancakes, knotted buns, and castings of baguettes. She then adorns the models with flavorings such as sesame seeds, gold chains, and the all-important designer label. Oil paint is used to cover the pieces, making them look realistic. The bags became headline news when actress India Meneuz arrived at a Chanel bash donning one of Wise’s bagel based treats. Originally intended as a piece to be hung on a gallery wall, the bag went from dysfunctional art piece to being a fashion statement, with a pointed societal comment. Wise uses the popular image of bread as “a symbol for status and wealth (think ‘the breadwinner’ or the use of the term ‘dough’),” she clarifies. So underneath the comedy, Wise’s bags point to the relationship between gluttony and fashion, drawing parallels between the perishable nature of pastries, baked foods and luxury fashion items that are used once and cast aside.
All images © Chloe Wise