Skip navigation

Category Archives: gastronomy


A pictogram or pictograph is a symbol representing a concept, object, activity, place or event by illustration. Pictography is a form of writing whereby ideas are transmitted through drawing.”


Today, the concept of several media we use for creating images have gone and still are going through a significant transformation. That is, that illustration is not performed only with its classical means anymore, yet artists are changing their tools for illustration day by day. The first painting I’ve seen with edible material was of a friend of mine; a still life vase with flowers inside made out of meat, jam and several other leftovers, which really amazed me at first. Then I’ve seen several others benefiting from the different physical appearances and habits of nutrition.

One guy I’ve met a few months ago is a Swedish illustrator, Carl Kleiner, making assemblage of nutrition on a blissful bacground color and take their photo to finalize his illustration. His IKEA / STYLING… project is visually so graphic that it reminded me of the pictographs, meaning again illustrations that resembles to the object it is signifying. Yet what we have here is the photographed image of the object itself; perhaps too realistic to be a pictogram but the used material is usually so smooth and lack of detail that makes it close to the idea of a pictogram.




He mostly performs still life photography and seemingly his stylized aesthetics was appealing enough for IKEA’s “styled ingredients cookbook”: “Hembakat är Bäst” (Homemade is Best). Above are actual recipes for bakeries all broken down to their fresh ingredients.

The way he placed the ingredients have a subtle logic that gives an idea about the habit and usage of the material. That is almost what a pictogram ends up doing; as Strauss talks about the signifier and the signified in his semiotic discourse which are basic codes for deciphering linguistic signs -the color code here for instance in the case of the egg- as soon as the eye sees yellow and white near another that connotes for the egg. It clearly denotes for two yellow and white circles, whereas the translation process of the sign leads us to the idea of an egg. In the case of nutella, it’s way of being coated on a surface denotes the idea of the whole nutella jar we see in the rack. Rather then using more abstracted signs, Kleiner uses the very essence of the material he wants to place on his canvas, whether or not that is his aim.