Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
February is upon us, and the art world is gearing up for the annual merch-athon that is Valentine’s Day. Anyone on the hunt for an unusual gift could do worse than look to the work of the Edible Museum, a company which creates eerily lifelike sculptures entirely out of chocolate. Founded by artist Sarah Hardy, the ‘museum’ has attracted the attention of institutions as venerable as Harvard, Barts Pathology Museum and, apparently, Mick Jagger.
Now, just in time for 14 February, it has a launched a new range of chocs that includes a selection of dismembered fingers (to, erm, ‘spice up’ your marriage proposal) and a life-size (and marginally more seasonal) effigy of a human heart, complete with tissue and clogged arteries. ‘Think carefully before giving [the heart] as a romantic gift,’ counsels a client in the company’s literature. ‘Some people may feel that they should be shocked by a realistic piece of human internals in chocolate. For the right recipient, however, this is a uniquely entertaining gift, and will be received with surprise and joy.’ Presumably, it can also be re-gifted come Halloween.
Beyond Valentine’s Day, Hardy’s aims for the brand are ambitious to say the least. ‘Imagine a natural history museum […] in chocolate’, she says. To that end, the Edible Museum is not restricting itself to body parts, and is also flogging chocolate replicas of a wide range of natural phenomena, including starfish, toads and insects. Fossils, too, are on the agenda – which if nothing else, might help to explain Jagger’s interest.