helga stenzel: the magic in the mundane

How now, brown cow?

Ever get the feeling you’ve been hung out to dry? Well, this can be a good thing if you’re one of Helga Stenzel’s creations.

Russian-born but London based, Helga is a multi-disclipinary visual artist who transforms familiar household objects into quirky, light-hearted works of art.

Helga and her laundry double.

With her trained eye and playful spirit, Helga uses items of clothing, kitchen utensils, office supplies — and yes, FOOD, to encourage us to reimagine the ordinary. In her world, avocados sing, pecans become weight lifters, and lettuce barks. 🙂

Originally from Siberia, Helga was born with an artistic gene and attended art school early on, graduating at age 15. She then studied at the prestigious Central St. Martins in London, where she majored in advertising and graphic design. 

She first worked as an art director for an advertising firm and then ran a children’s clothing business before becoming a full-time artist. She designed and sold “educational t-shirts and funky gloves” via Instagram. Her following steadily grew as she also began to share ideas from her sketchbook and continued to experiment with different styles and media.

Her work is often described as “household surrealism,” and is characterized by simplicity, clean design, and a reliance on day-to-day activities for inspiration. She works across a variety of media including photography, illustration, video, and stop motion animation.

It’s uncanny how a very simple scene or design, consisting of only one or two objects, can elicit an instant emotional response. Once you get past the initial delight, you have an “oh, yeah” moment — why didn’t I think of that? It’s been there in front of me all along . . . 

My art is about finding magic in the mundane, seeing beauty in imperfections, and connecting to reality in a new way. It’s observation without expectations, which sometimes brings fascinating insights. I love noticing playful similarities – be it a sweater on a clothing line looking like a horse or a slice of bread resembling a dog’s head. I hope that my work will help people to connect with their inner child and rediscover the joy of savouring little visual delights in and outside their homes.

Of course I love her foodie pictures best. They’re grouped as “Edible Creatures” and “Food for Thought.” What about gummy bear grapes or “the real eggplant”? Her use of staple ingredients — grains, vegetables, eggs, etc. — gives her work universal resonance:

Their taste and shape are familiar to people all over the world, they are, in a way, our common denominator, the language that everyone can understand and speak without saying a word. And I take great pleasure in studying simple food and coming up with new stories around it.

In 2020, Stentzel won Snackable Content Awards’ ‘Food Art Creator of the Year.’ In addition to working on personal projects, she has collaborated with Honda, the BBC, and O2, among others.

All I can say is, laundry has never been more interesting or exciting. 🙂

Enjoy Helga’s Showreel. So fun!

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Visit Helga’s Official Website to learn more and to purchase prints.

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*Copyright © 2022 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

13 thoughts on “helga stenzel: the magic in the mundane

  1. I won’t look into my vegie drawer the same ever again, Jama. This is wonderful! I love the cauliflower skirt! Thanks for finding our Tuesday entertainment!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HOW COOL. That avocado choir is the best! And the puppy bread!!! This artist’s child’s-eye imagination is SO up my alley, and must make her household definitely delightful and weird. …My Dad brought my great-aunt over to our home for a brief visit when she was in town, and I suspect my house, with its little stickers on things and stuff hanging from the ceiling in the hallway probably struck her as SO weird… but who needs normal when you can have lettuce puppies?. I am going to put a little house on a light switch now…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Helga’s creations had me smiling from ear to ear. What an amazing production! I agree, the foodie art is my favorite. Food is, indeed, the universal language! Thanks for sharing, Jama Darling!

    Liked by 1 person

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