Jasmin Schuller's "Sweet Meat"

Jasmin Schuller’s “Sweet Meat” series combines three things I love dearly in life: 1) Dessert, which is my favorite course of any meal. 2) Fulfilling my carnivorous diet of meat. 3) The deceptive humor in trompe l’oeil art, which the New York Times once summarized as such: “There is no art more elementary (or more seductive) than trompe l’oeil. Truly a people’s art, it requires skill to produce, but no conditioning to appreciate and, as a branch of pie-in-the-face humor, it must be one of civilization’s oldest jokes.” In this case, Schuller tells a hilarious joke. She uses raw meat to create shockingly realistic and familiar-looking desserts like sundaes, pies, popsicles and delicate pastries. The reaction to the candy bright photos of these treats becomes unsettling revulsion once the viewer recognizes that there is more to these desserts than meats (pun always intended!) the eye.

Story time: When I was just a wee kid learning my ABCs, I had difficulty remembering the difference in spelling between “dessert” and “desert.” This was solved brilliantly by my teacher who told me to remember that two scoops of ice cream is always preferable to one scoop (very true) so “dessert” always has two “S’s” as opposed to one for the dry “desert.” I still think of this advice when I’m spelling either of these two words. Although, by my old teacher’s same logic, if I was in charge of spelling rules, then “dessert” would be “desssssssert.”