Avocado's nickname "green gold" has been taken literally in new sculpture worth almost US$3M
Artist Tim Bengel is debuting his newest work, a sculpture of avocado toast covered in more than €300,000 (US$354,000) worth of liquid gold at Berlin Art Week.
The piece, titled "Who Wants to Live Forever?", started with a real sliced pumpkin bagel, five tomato slices, five onion rings, five slices of avocado and 10 arugula leaves, according to Food & Wine.
He scanned and 3D printed molds of the bagel and then cast the entire thing in liquid gold. Bengel told Food & Wine that he ate the actual, non-gold bagel after the process was complete.
"For thousands of years, people have attributed meaning to gold. Whether as the tears of the gods, as with the Aztecs, or as the source of eternal wealth, as with King Midas in ancient Greece," he said in an email to the publication.
"There are parallels with the avocado, the 'green gold' of a new industry. To capture the cultural significance of the avocado, no material would be more fitting than gold."
The artist said that his goal for the piece was to capture one aspect of the current cultural climate.
"I asked myself 'What is the symbol of my millennial generation?'." It had to be something that combines topics like the adaptation of the internet, the use of social media, and the trend towards a healthy lifestyle with turbo-capitalism and the destruction of our livelihoods."
The only possible representation of all of those ideas, he decided, was the avocado — specifically this extravagant take on avocado toast.
"Who Wants to Live Forever" will be available for sale through Galerie Rother and has an asking price of €2.5 million (US$2.9 million). The work will also be displayed at Art Miami in December.
"The sculpture is intended to trigger an awareness of our present time: a time of rapid change, social media, fitness trends, green revolution, environmental destruction, turbo-capitalism, and constant self-optimization," Bengel said. "Perhaps we are living in the most exciting times ever. Be aware of that."