Friday, August 26, 2011

Amy Stevens

"The Confections series began as a response to turning 30. It was a celebration of birthdays, color, pattern and obsessive absurdity. My original idea was to bake 30 birthday cakes for myself and photograph them. I didn’t quite make it to 30 cakes in time for my thesis show, but I sure got a lot of ideas from those first cakes. I ordered a kit from Martha and watched an instructional video on decorating cakes. When I quickly discovered my cakes were never going to look like the ones in the video and the pamphlet, I decided they were better off in their exuberantly imperfect states. With over 70 cakes constructions to date, I’m often asked, “Why still with the cakes?” Cakes are the centerpieces of celebrations and symbolic trophies evoking nostalgia and awe. Historically, cake has played a significant role in womens’ lives. Women have used cake as both an outlet of creativity and a symbol of female power politics. In my constructions of these photographs, I am commentating on not only cake itself as a rich cultural symbol, but of the domestic fantasy world of contemporary home decorating and cooking magazines and television shows. It’s a fantasy world where entertaining, cooking and decorating unite. It’s a place where one needs to have a beautiful home, decorated seasonally, in order to entertain friends with gourmet meals and elaborately concocted desserts.” – Amy Stevens