The Internet Loves This Artist’s Still Life Paintings of Comfort Food
Viral Twitter moments usually come and go pretty quickly, but one Florida-based artist is learning just how hungry social media can be for his work. Nick Verrier first found viral fame back in March when he tweeted a photo of his incredibly detailed and realistic grilled cheese oil painting, amassing a vast digital fanbase of people who love his kitschy, comfort food-inspired works of art.
Paintings of food are nothing new, but Verrier’s creations reflect modern delicacies that didn’t exist in the days of Caravaggio and O’Keeffe. From a PB&J sandwich stacked above a glass of chocolate milk to a McDonald’s Big Mac, there’s a good chance he’s taken paint to paper on your favorite meal or snack.
Verrier studied classic still life paintings at Florida State University, recently telling Bon Appétit he was inspired by artists like Manet and Chardin, who became famous in the 18th and 19th centuries for their still-life paintings of fruits and ham. “I don’t want to paint cheese and grapes all the time,” he told BA. “Some of it just kind of gets kind of boring. Manet painted oysters and lemons because that was popular at that time in cafés in France. Van Gogh was around sunflowers. These works are the same thing but for today’s time period.”
Each painting comes together in less than 12 hours, and yes, he enjoys every food item when he’s done. “If I’m going to paint it, I’m going to eat it the same day too,” he shared. (Plus, who would let perfectly good doughnuts, Chinese take-out, and gummy bears go to waste?) His work allows him to recreate fond memories shaped by his favorite foods, and seemingly didn’t expect to find ongoing viral fame.
“A lot of it is bringing back memories — good times with friends and family,” he said. “That feeling of community really drives me. I think that’s why I paint food. I try to do my best and work hard every day, painting and creating the things I enjoy and love. Hopefully, people will find a connection to the work, which brings some joy to their lives too.”