In Time Life magazine in 1942, a series of photographs by Alfred Eisenstaedt was published as a tutorial for women, teaching how to elegantly consume spaghetti “like a lady”. The step-by-step guide featured portraits of a coiffured model determinedly twirling the strands of pasta on her spoon and, eventually, eating it in a dignified fashion.
Now, Italian illustrator Olimpia Zagnoli has created How to Eat Spaghetti Like a Lady, a series of artworks paying homage to the original while subverting the old fashioned etiquette, in favour of depicting modern, liberated women eating spaghetti however they like.
The series features curvy, happy ladies full of energy and joy, holding their spaghetti up high, cradling it in their arms, or clutched like a purse, even sucking it Lady and the Tramp style from a bowl perched on their protruding hip.
Currently show at the Antonia Colombo Arte Contemporanea in Milan, and curated by Chiara Pozzi, the series includes some of Olimpia’s signature block colour, flat, vector illustration, and a collection of hand-drawn pieces that display the illustrator’s dynamic style in its raw, textural form. There’s also a neon sign in the shape of a women with spaghetti for hair.
“Olimpia, who favours the representation of soft, amused and colourful women, gives us a brilliant interpretation of the meaning ‘like a lady’," says Chiara, “thus drawing a series of portraits of girls who are tasting their plate of spaghetti in a completely singular and authentic way.”
Offering a glimpse at women’s “domestic intimacy” Olimpia says she’s celebrating the times when “they do what shouldn’t be done, they create new paths and new languages. There will be the woman who eats her spaghetti in bed, the one who eats them upside-down, the one who weaves them with her own hair, and so on”.
How to Eat Spaghetti Like a Lady is on show at Antonia Colombo Arte Contemporanea, Milan until 30 July 2017.
- Creative coder Neal Agarwal on bringing the internet back to its weird days
- Isaac Lock’s hilarious documentary goes behind the scenes of Fiorucci’s revival
- Meet Rob en Robin, the Dutch studio that finds humour in often lifeless topics
- The latest issue of Fukt is all about systems, and how to break them
- Book of Roy: Neil Drabble photographs an American teenager over the course of eight years
- Double Click October is all about the humble portfolio site
- Graphic Design is Mental: Tips for looking after your state of mind as a designer
- Greta Grotesk is a typeface in homage to the teenage activist’s handwriting
- “The signs were completely radical”: Margaret Calvert looks back on her illustrious career
- Alan Titchmarsh stars in new campaign for Adidas’ Gardening Club collection
- A glimpse at the 226 Japanese posters on display at Stedelijk Museum
- Michiyo Yanagihara imbues her post-human photography with Japanese mythology