Bacon Triglyph

Bacon Triglyph was created in response to a call for entries to the second annual Bacon Show in Albany, NY (2003). The Bacon Show is a largely conceptual art show presented by Works on Bacon that focuses on bacon-themed work. The first show was held in Brooklyn, NY in 2002. My original concept was a reference to the Sensations exhibit that caused such a stir at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1999. Sensations included preserved and cross-sectioned animals – among other more controversial items. I wanted to display bacon in the same manner as the animals in the Sensations exhibit since bacon is in essentially the preserved cross section of an animal. My plan was to encase eight slices of bacon in clear polyester resin and stand them parallel to each other (mimicking arrangements in the Sensations show). I made four molds and figured that I could do the whole project in two pours. I make one test piece that stuck to the mold, which left me with three molds. After liberally applying mold release, I was ready to try to start production with the remaining molds. Production began with a fresh package of Oscar Meyer center cut bacon (the question I am most frequently asked is if it is real bacon – it is real raw bacon). The first slice out of the package was torn, so I used slices 2, 3, and 4. Using sequential slices was important to the cross-section concept. After the resin cured, I turned the three strips out of the molds. As I looked at them lying on newspaper I was struck by how much it looked like a Greek triglyph. I thought that there was some hubris in taking what was once a food item (and before that a living animal) and turning it into an element of classical Greek architecture. Hubris was consistent with my theme.

Bacon Triglyph appeared in the National Prize Show at the Cambridge Art Association in Cambridge, MA (2004) where it took first prize. It was also part of the Small Works at the Upstream Gallery in Dobbs Ferry, NY (2005). I really don’t know how long the bacon will keep in its current state. It has been encased in polyester resin since July of 2003 and to date shows no signs of decay. It seems to have the shelf life of a Twinkie. The final form of Bacon Triglyph was somewhat accidental, but it remains an homage to (or parody of) a controversial exhibit that preceded it.

Bacon right out of the molds inadvertently forming a triglyph.
Hours of wet sanding were required square off the edges and polish the sides.
The opening of the Second Annual Bacon Show in Albany, NY.
A view of the gallery at the opening.
Food at the opening featured bacon sushi and a bottomless bowl of bacon.

All work copyright © Ray Martin and respective artists and authors.