Posted in Kafevend Blog
Many of us like to drink chocolate, still more of us love to eat it, and then there's that elite group of chocolate artistes who fashion the most intricate sculptures with it . . . and never lick their fingers, not once. Outside all these categories falls the Australian/Lebanese artist Sid Chidiac, who actually paints with chocolate.
After exploring art through oil paint and also producing leadlight (stained glass) panels, Sid decided to experiment with entirely edible portraits of people, produced through the medium of chocolate. His first chocolate exhibition was in New York ten years ago and, as might be expected, such an original approach garnered much needed recognition and publicity, allowing him to reach a wider audience and raise money for charity as an added bonus. He is now based in Long Island and has continued to work with chocolate, reputedly cleaning his brushes by licking them! He prefers to work with high quality chocolate because the high cocoa content works better on the canvas and doesn't dry as quickly. Sid patrols his exhibitions as the wonderful smell that emanates sometimes tempts members of the public to dig into his portraits.
Sid's chocolate art includes American presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama, famous names such as Charlie Chaplin, Madonna and Oprah Winfrey and many studies of ordinary people too. He receives regular deliveries of chocolates from his sponsor, the Belgian company Barry Callebaut. What remarkable self control this man must have to stand and paint, rather than eat, though I dare say he's not above a nibble at coffee time.