All about the McDonald’s Pickle art installation

All about the McDonald’s Pickle art installation

Photo illustration: The incision; Photo: Getty Images

Art is everywhere. It’s in the way Chris Pine wears a kaftan, the flick of Katy Perry’s wrist as she throws slices of pizza in a Las Vegas nightclub. Art is movement and expression, creativity and inspiration. It’s poetry, music, movies and, yes, even a pickle. Ladies and gentlemen, she:

It is pickle, an installation recently presented at the Michael Lett Gallery in Auckland, New Zealand. Artist Matthew Griffin created the piece by peeling a pickle from a McDonald’s cheeseburger and throwing it at the gallery’s ceiling. Griffin’s self-described “sculpture” was on display throughout July, which meant the pickle remained stuck to the ceiling using only leftover ketchup and nondescript burger juices as glue for an entire month. amazing I love the art pickle.

As usual with any artwork in the gallery, pickle‘s plaque lists the materials used to create the piece. Although only the pickle was on display, the plate included all the components of a McDonald’s cheeseburger (bun, beef patty, cheese, ketchup, etc.) as well as the ingredients used to make each component (wheat flour, canola oil, thickening agent, emulsifiers, the ominous “cheese taste”). This should be common to all works of art. The end credits of each film must list all food provided by craft services. Each song must record the number of cigarettes smoked while writing each song. What goes into the creation of a work of art, even if it is not visible in the final product, is also part of the art. Schrödinger’s burger.

Now before I talk about how much pickle it was selling for — yes, it was apparently available for purchase — you have to promise me you’ll be cool. I won’t hear a murmur or a giggle about the monetary value of an artistic pickle. Do we have an agreement? ok pickle it was priced at $10,000 NZD ($6,275 USD). Hey, you promised me you’d be cool! Additionally, anyone who purchased the installation will have to pay an additional $4.44 NZD per McDonald’s cheeseburger, as The guard, “the institution or collector that owns it will be given instructions on how to recreate the art in their own space.” So basically you’ll be paying NZ$10,004.44 to take a pickle out of a McDonald’s burger and slam it into the ceiling of your choice. Dinner and a show! It’s unclear if anyone actually bought the artwork.

pickle has been described by critics as a “provocative gesture” and I agree, as pickles are inherently provocative. It brings to mind other art related to food, such as the now infamous banana stuck on a wall or the pornographic film Purdy cake. (Here is a musical dissertation of Purdy cake, if you’re not familiar.) What I love most about the art pickle is that it opens the door for other everyday things to be seen as art. The pile of dust and dog fur under my TV stand isn’t dirt; it is a commentary on the cultural understanding of purity. Leaving my car idling for too long is not irresponsible; it’s performance art, and pumping gas is camp. Kiwis call McDonald’s “Maka”, which is – say it with me – an art. You’ve read over 500 words about a pickle stuck in the ceiling, which makes you a fan of the arts.

As art begets art, I wrote a poem in honor of the artistic pickle. Best enjoyed while throwing some gherkins on the wall. Enjoy your meal.

That’s just saying
I have eaten
the artistic pickle
this was included
the ceiling of the art gallery

And what
you probably
$10,000 NZD at

Forgive me
It was tasty
Haha, jk
It was a month-long pickle.
It tasted so, so bad.

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