Oh, there’s the beef.
Mosaic artist Jason Mecier has crafted a tasty likeness of Barack Obama that gives Shepard Fairey‘s iconic poster a run for its money. Mecier’s take is made entirely of Jack Link’s beef jerky; the artist made a matching picture of Obama’s presumptive opponent Mitt Romney as well. (Paul Ryan, presumably, is too handsome for the jerky treatment.)
Mecier told EW this afternoon that he began the process by sorting various flavors of Jack Link’s into different color groups — light brown, red, and dark brown. He dried the jerky in bins lined with paper towels for about three weeks, then drew an outline for each portrait and got to work fitting pieces together “like a jigsaw puzzle.” Altogether, the project took around 100 hours (and 100 bags of jerky) to complete.
This isn’t Mecier’s first brush with meatness. He’s created portraits of WWE wrestlers out of lunchmeat and pickles, and he’d also love to give the raw stuff a try at some point: “I wanted to do Lady Gaga all out of raw hamburger,” the artist says. “I think it would work; I would get a photo taken immediately afterwards, and then probably just throw it away.”
Such a piece would fit in well with Mecier’s countless other works of food art. Over the past 15 years, his pieces have included a mosaic of Jerry Seinfeld made of various kinds of cereal, a portrait of Kim Kardashian crafted from Red Vines licorice, and a series called “celebrity junk drawer,” in which he creates portraits out of junk sent to him by celebrities like Rosie O’Donnell and the late Phyllis Diller. In the future, Mecier would love to add to his collection by making portraits of “Kevin Bacon out of bacon, Dog the Bounty Hunter out of dog food and Kat Von D out of cat food.”
The portraits of “Obameat” and “Meat Romney” are both posted on Jack Link’s website, along with a “favorite meathead” poll. Fans are encouraged to choose between the two candidates and a surprising third party: Sasquatch, star of another Jack Link’s ad campaign. (The beast got his own Mecier meat portrait as well.) So, which of these three gets Mecier’s vote? “Oh, Sasquatch,” he says, laughing. Really, though, any member of the triumvirate could win over the artist: “I can like them all equally, because they’re just meat portraits. It’s not really them.”
See more of Mecier’s work on his website — and catch a glimpse at the artist at work in this behind-the-scenes video.