British artist James Ostrer is doing something weird and that are junk food masks. The high calorie creations, landing somewhere between an ancient ritual mask and a midnight snack, are simultaneously delicious and dangerous. The uncanny folk art, despite its alluring intensity, looks far too bright to actually go inside your body, yielding an unexpected portrait of sugar’s dark side.
Candy and sweets are often associated with joy, but looking at Ostrerâ€™s work its hard to feel that way. They arenâ€™t delightful, but are visceral. Frosting is slathered on haphazardly with licorice used to create outlines. Sometimes, the lines are droopy and it appears that the entire piece is melting.Â The result is a peculiar and unsettling group of photographs that speaks to the sickening amount of junk food we have available as well as a reinterpretation of the self portrait.