Home » Gender and Sex » 'I'm no psychotic cannibal nurse,' says artist after her eww-inducing cakes go viral

'I'm no psychotic cannibal nurse,' says artist after her eww-inducing cakes go viral

Durga M Sengupta | Updated on: 26 April 2016, 16:06 IST

Katherine Dey is a 30-year-old nurse from Rorchester, New York. She's also a thorough artist.

Last week, the internet discovered her work, and boy, was it scandalised. Katherine's body of artwork (pun intended), includes sculptures, portraits, medical simulations, body art, illustrations, comfort dolls, and cakes.

She's a perfectionist of sorts, carefully detailing her art, making it life-size and hyper-real. But the sort of theme she picks for her cakes are a bit different from your regular Superman, Teletubbies or even dildo themes. Katherine creates cakes in the form of babies, dead rats, adult faces - all things to cut up and eat.

In this interview, Katherine Dey tells Catch about the shock-inducing cakes, the internal struggle people experience before eating it, her love for the human anatomy, and more.

Warning: Some of these images may not be suitable for all readers.

1. You've done some detailed pencil sketches, created hyper-real body art based on human anatomy, and also baked some 'bloody' amazing cakes. Of these, what do you identify with the most?

I have always been interested in a variety of different art forms. It keeps things interesting for me. I don't identify with one more than another. It all builds on itself.

2. The internet has been expressing their excitement/disgust over your cakes. But I can't help but notice that they're mostly life-sized. Does being a medical practitioner inspire your work?

I spend so much of my time as nurse I don't think I could separate it from my other work. I have always been interested in science and the human body. That comes through in nursing as it does in my art.

3. Buzzfeed quoted you as saying that no matter how disgusted a person is by your cakes, they eventually eat them. So are you capitalising on the shock factor?

I find that the work I am most proud of makes people have an internal struggle with conflicting emotions. That may be something that looks real but isn't. It is [surreal] to perceive something as being real when you know it is fake. With many of the cakes, there is the added struggle of making people feel hungry and disgusted at the same time. I want to wake people up and make them feel a full spectrum of emotions.

4. As a woman artist, are you pressured to work on a certain kind of art? Also, is your work seen as 'unwomanly'?

Gender is not something I think about a lot when I do my work and I have not gotten a lot of feedback from people in that regard. I am glad to say I don't feel any pressure to do something that doesn't come naturally to me.

5. Do you think the manner in which your work is being shared overlooks your talent? After all, the media isn't highlighting your eye for detail...

I think every time my story gets shared something is added and something is lost. I am always kind of amused to see what is said and I am noticing certain themes. Of course, I am not actually a psychotic cannibal nurse.

6. Why do you want people to cut up a baby and eat it? Or a pigeon, for that matter?

I think I am drawn to material that brings up strong emotions. I don't always know why I decide to do something until after I have done it. These cakes come out of a combination of interests and things going on in my life at the time.

All artwork belongs to Katherine Dey. For more, visit: www.coroflot.com/katherinedey

First published: 26 April 2016, 16:06 IST
Durga M Sengupta @the_bongrel

Feminist and culturally displaced, Durga tries her best to live up to her overpowering name. She speaks four languages, by default, and has an unhealthy love for cheesy foods. Assistant Editor at Catch, Durga hopes to bring in a focus on gender politics and the role in plays in all our interactions.