If you're thinking about stepping up your table-setting game, this limited edition DISH series by the Patella Brothers is about as distant from bland as you can get. Artsy, gutsy, and almost too compelling to conceal with food, the 10.5-inch porcelain plates are silkscreen printed with 13 different designs, each a surrealist, photographic fusion of beauty and the grotesque.
The NYC-based trio Antonello, Sandro and Roberto Patella, whose past work includes fashion photography, portraiture, even sculpture and painting, created the series to push the boundaries of conventional notions of aesthetics, art and food, and just how far to take that with regards to what winds up on one's plate — literally and metaphorically. Their intent, according according to Antonello, was to decontextualize "objects to exist in a pattern of relationships that are not known, or unexpected. It becomes a sort of poetry, an abstract dream."
Naturally beautiful images like freshly cracked eggs and butterflies are contrasted with ash trays overflowing with cigarette butts, nests of nails, even a curious white powder with a razor beside it (someone's breakfast of choice), for a bold, in-your-face trompe l'oeil effect. Despite their unusual nature, the pairings were an almost organic process for the brothers. "We started to collect random objects, just in the sheer enjoyment of 'the find' and having them line our studio — objects to inspire," explained Antonello. " As we collected more, we started to place them in clusters, on corners of a bookshelf, a centerpiece on a table, etc. We eventually noticed how each cluster in a way represented its own culture. It's history from there."
Each of the 13 designs can be purchased separately or as a complete collection via Artware Editions. Check some of them in the slideshow above.