Public Art, Sculpture January 11, 2010

Delicious Douglas

450 Food Cans, Hand Engraved Can openers, and Plywood

In Houston, a non-profit art organization named Buffalo Bayou Art Park, hosts an event for artists to make work during the holiday season in the urban streets of downtown. Serveral sites open for artists to choose from. During this selection process I witnessed several homeless people being moved to another location.

I decided to make a work that would give my honorarium back to the homeless community through an interactive, destructive work that would bring the community and art together in a time of need for the holiday season.

I reached out to a food distributor who matched my purchase of canned foods. I purchased mixed veggies, beans, chili, corn, green beans, and mixed beans. I removed the labels to reveal the silver, but also to allow for the excitement of unwrapping a gift. The ornaments on the “tree” were hand engraved with cliché Christmas effigies including: Milk and Cookies, The Three Wise men, Santa Clause, Holly…

Once the piece was complete and installed the public was open to taking the work at will, with no restrictions. Over the course of 5 weeks the cans were slowly opened and taken. Often times the tops of the cans were left at the site, but they were careful to leave the hand engraved can openers with the piece.