Traditionally, most food still lifes depict hearty chunks of bread, wheels of hard cheeses, and bowls of fruit. But the menu is changing thanks to Asheville painter Greg Carr. Hoping to appeal to more contemporary palates, Carr immortalizes snacks like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Chips Ahoy! chocolate chip cookies, frozen Bagel Bites, and strawberry-frosted donuts from Dunkin’. These packaged foods are a fun source of nostalgia, says Carr. “People link specific brands and flavors with the loved ones in their lives who enjoy those items,” he explains. “My artwork is intended to be a lighthearted reminder of good memories with friends and family.” Carr began iconizing Doritos and Capri-Sun juice drinks about 10 years ago when he spent a summer studying under North Carolina painter Richard Christian Nelson. Then an illustration student at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Carr quickly fell in love with the still life process. Something about inching closer and closer to the “illusion of realism” through impressionist brushstrokes brought a “big rush of euphoria.” He was hooked. In the time since, he has moved to Asheville and made a living out of painting convincingly delicious noms. None of his pieces are hyper-realistic, though. “[They’re] obviously handcrafted with just my eye,” he explains. “I don’t want my process to be a meticulous drawing, but rather my interpretation of what is in front of me.”
Greg Carr, Asheville, tall-greg.com and on Instagram. Carr is represented by 362 Depot Street in Asheville, Woolworth Walk (25 Haywood St., Asheville, woolworthwalk.com) and Foundation Studios (27 Foundy St., Suite 10, Asheville, foundationstudiosavl.com).