Celebrity peanut gallery: Artist Steve Casino recreates your heroes on a half shell
Your favourite celebrity has never struck you as possessing a nut-shaped cranium, but that could be because you just never bothered to take it there.
Except now that you’ve been introduced to the concept, just try to wipe it from your consciousness. Exactly. You can’t. Heads will now forever be a congregation of walnuts, almonds and pecans.
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But some skulls are more naturally nut-like than others, so what do you do when you just can’t place the family of pistachios to which your boss's head belongs?
Thankfully, artist Steve Casino has done all the handiwork for us, spending countless hours painting famous people onto peanut shells. This is what he does and he’s brilliant at it.
Before you dismiss this as a waste of otherwise spectacular hand-eye coordination, take a look at the results. They’re incredible. Elton John, Wonder Woman, James Brown – your entire 1970s cultural experience has been re-imagined as food.
Plus, it’s deep. We always knew the Sex Pistols’ Johnny Rotten was a little nuts but Casino has managed to turn the figurative into a literal representation.
Oddity Central notes that the Kentucky-based talent discovered his unusual gift while eating peanuts one day and realizing that one of them vaguely resembled him – in a Jesus-on-toast sort of way.
Following through on this discovery, Casino painted his self-portrait on the shell. His effort proved so successful that he tried his luck next with a peanut portrait of Joey Ramone.
Since then, he’s churned out dozens of amazingly lifelike figurines and sells them through his website. Fans can even take a crack at commissioning their idols for $500 apiece.
The work is as painstaking as you can imagine. Casino sifts through hundreds of shells before he finds the right one for his project. Then he carefully removes the peanut inside, glues the shell back together, sands the front down and covers the surface with wood filler.
Each peanut requires around 10 hours of work just to paint.
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Casino joins the ranks of fellow food-artists like Jason Mecier, who produces elaborate celebrity portraits using mediums like pizza, candy, hamburger buns and famously sculpted George Clooney out of pasta, an achievement that caused the actor to proclaim: “How fabulous! I’m a linguine head.”
And special mention must also go to French artist Christel Assante, whose delicate egg sculptures defy everything we previously believed about motor control skills.
These talented folks have successfully run with the whole "food as art" concept and made it literal.