I’m really drawn to people who hold many talents. It might be that I see myself in them, but I think it’s mostly because it excites me to think of all the collaborations and conversations we could have, and the things that we can put out into the world. Chef-Turned-Artist, Kristina Groeger, has been a FGFS Fan Club member since Day One and was the first submission to roll in when we announced our gallery show, Fat In Public. If you live in or around Roncesvalles, or are an adventurer, you can see Kristina’s design work in the logo for Extra Butter, a nifty addition to the bourgeoning strip. I recently roped Kristina into answering a few burning questions about her work and life. FGFS: Who are you?
Kristina: Oh, hi hello. I’m Kristina Groeger.
FGFS: What do you do?
Kristina: I am a visual artist that lives in Toronto. I was a chef for a good number of years and decided to do a bit of a career change to focus more on making art and comics.
FGFS: What gets you excited about what you do?
Kristina: Half of my life ago (in high school), I can remember feeling really excited by creating a whole world with paint or pictures. I loved the idea of telling a story through something so simple. It’s exciting to watch a blob of paint or plate of food turn into a person with personality or a symphony of colour and taste.
FGFS: You’re like me in that your talents are varied. We do it all. Web, photography, art, cooking. I can’t imagine life being any other way. How about you? Is that just who you are, and how you function?
Kristina: I think this is definitely something I still explore and struggle with a bit. Without seeming like a “Jill of all trades, master of none” I like to think of myself more as an absent minded professor who is super close to a breakthrough. I’ve tried very hard to string together why I am such a “renaissance woman” (read: distracted aquarius). But, as far as web, photography, art, cooking? I see them all as forms of creation, story telling, or challenge and those are my favourite things to explore.
FGFS: What dish are you really, really good at making? Either you’re known for it, or just can just bang it out no problem and impress everyone.
Kristina: I would say that I am fairly known for my savoury or sweet pies. I really love working with pastry, also encompassing pasta and bread. I love kneading and sculpting the mixture of water, flour, and fat. It’s crazy how powder and liquid takes form into a delicious vehicle for flavour.
FGFS: Why is it that you create imagery and art that deals with food so prominently?
Kristina: Food for me has been an enormous part of my life for a really long time. I’ve been on a strict regime for the past six months to have more energy and start getting back into some sporty stuff I used to enjoy (skiing, swimming, baseball). When I was painting the donuts [paintings featured in Fat in Public], it was having an intense internal struggle about eating for pleasure vs. eating for body fuel. I also notice that everyone takes photos of their food the same way people would take photos of their family. The way we view food has shifted. When you see the way chefs like Michel Bras, Jason Bangerter, Daniel Humm, or Graham Elliott plate food you realize that this is art. They are using textures and viscosity to paint a beautiful landscape and story. I love exploring this in all types of mediums.
FGFS: Anything else to add?
Kristine: This is one of my favourite videos of all time that shows the melding of food/art : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ_zMnxR9z8
Kristina has generously given us some prints and stickers(!) of the donut paintings from her series, Round Food Makes You Round, that hung in out gallery show in February.
To be one of the lucky winners follow these steps: 1. Go follow Kristina on Twitter 2. Tweet using the hashtag #FGFSxRoundFood and let us know why you want to win!
For further exploration find Kristina at these hot online places: Tumblr: http://tumblr.kristinagroeger.com/ and Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/KristinaGroegerArt