When Cakes Become Metaphors For Your Relationships...

by ALISON KRAWCZYK · March 15, 2010

[All photos by Patrick McMullan for PMc] You would think that Dustin Wayne Harris has an obsession with cake based on his new exhibit. In fact, he doesn't even like to eat the dessert. Dustin is the photographer behind Heist Gallery's newest presentation, Cake Mixx. The entire collection are photographs of cakes that Dustin had his past girlfriends make him.

It all began with a girl who insisted on making Dustin a cake, despite his pleas not to. When she delivered the dessert covered in Saran Wrap, Dustin decided to photograph it, instead of eat it.

He developed an idea that a cake is a metaphor for the affair between him and his girlfriend. This first cake looked saggy and worn, which is apparently how the relationship turned out.

It was from that point on that Dustin began asking each girl he dated to bake him a cake. He could then "read" how the relationship would proceed by the appearance of her cake. For instance, Chloe baked a beautiful cake in the beginning of the relationship, which told Dustin that there "was great promise." The next cake Chloe baked was at the end of the relationship; the viewer can clearly see that it ended badly.

Talia Eisenberg, Bernd Naber

When one looks at cake, one must wear one's cake goggles.

The exhibit, which opened last night, invites the viewers to analyze the cakes and make their own assumptions about the girl and the relationship. The series of photographs are a continuation of Dustin's earlier exhibits about objects left behind by previous lovers.

Is cake-reading the new form of psychoanalysis? Can you really decipher a person's feelings based on the presentation of a cake? It makes sense, as a girl who is really into a guy is probably going to spend more time making "the perfect" cake than a girl who is fed up with her man.

Peter Ruprecht, Caecile Carlsen

We're not sure who Caecile Carlsen is, but her hair reminds us of a delicious bombe.

Now, I don't know about you but I could never resist a delicious confection,. If a slice is placed in front of me I devour it and ask for more. But after hearing Dustin's theory on cakes I may take more time to analyze it...and then continue to stuff my face.

The exhibit opened March 11 and will run until April 18. The Heist Gallery is located at 27 Essex Street.

Laura Rubin, Brad Leinhardt

Colin Hueter, Dustin Wayne Harris, Talia Eisenberg, Patrick Dawes, Martin Rodriquez, Chrystal Miller

Robert Peter Miller