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If a love for food and art can coexist in equal amounts, Japanese chef Itsuo Kobayashi has nailed them both in his copious hand-painted expressions of his meals for over three decades. Kobyashi painstakingly replicated his meals after writing vivid descriptions and then captured them in numerous notebooks and standalone art pieces. Not only are they vividly colored, but they’re also done from his perspective at the dining table. He was diagnosed with a debilitating condition that has kept him largely indoors after his once active career as a chef at a soba restaurant. But he started much earlier than that at the age of 18 and has since described and painted over 1,000 delectable meals. He has also created pop-up works that add dimension to his meal paintings, and he’s now represented by N. Kushino, who runs Kushino Terrace gallery in Fukuyama, Japan. His works have commanded thousands, but to the rest of us, they simply conjure up an intense desire for udon, Wagyu beef, and just about anything umami-fied.

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