Food and other domestic items are not merely common commodities for Russian-born, London-based visual artist Helga Stentzel. They have hidden personalities that are ready to be revealed in everyday life. Out of clothing, cooking utensils, books, bread, and other materials she creates a cast of colorful characters and amusing situations. Her series, suitably dubbed Household Surrealism, provides a window inside her creative mind.
Stentzel can convert almost any material into something new from a cute puppy created out of lettuce to a horse built out of laundry on a clothesline. The items are arranged in the proper form and position for each photograph. After photographing the scene Stentzel occasionally adds hand-drawn drawings such as eyes and mouths to give it a more personal touch. In other pieces, the artist creates the appearance of face characteristics with little pieces of paper and carefully selected materials.
“My ideas come from day-to-day activities and also from staring at things for longer than socially acceptable,” Stentzel explained. “I can spend a long time examining a slice of bread in a restaurant for instance to the annoyance of my family and friends.” she said, “I also carry a large notepad with me where I scribble down my ideas. Although not all of them are professionally shot and edited I love going through them on occasion—like it’s a bank of ideas.”
Stentzel’s whimsical arrangements can be seen below and you can see more of her work on Instagram.
The Household Surrealism series by Helga Stentzel transforms ordinary things into imaginative creatures.
With creative arrangements, mundane items are brought to life.