David Gilhooly’s “FrogFood” – A look into the work of a California Contemporary Ceramic Artist

Food has long been the focus of artistic examination, whether it has adopted the form of still life or larger than life scale sculptures ala Claes Oldenberg. However David Gilhooly surely takes his own unique approach. For close to a decade, Gilhooly crafted sculptures known as Frogfood – life size ceramic foods in which he inserted frogs into each and every dish. You name it, he’s done it!

Frog Burger?  Check it out below!

Frog Burger, Glazed Ceramic Sculpture, 1975 


Or maybe you were more in the mood for a Peppermint Sundae?



Frog Peppermint Sundae, Glazed Ceramic Sculpture, 1978

The obvious question I am sure that pops into your head at this juncture, is why frogs? Sure some people have a very peculiar obsession with all things frog related, but was this Gilhooly’s motivation?


His froggie exploration actually begun in somewhat of an accidental fashion. While in school at UC Davis, Gilhooly and a few classmates often competed to create the most outlandish ceramic mugs that still maintained their functionality. The mug that started it all had a mushroom as a handle and a group of frogs below. Gilhooly says, “I also put one in the bottom of the cup itself unknowingly tying myself to a joke that went at least as far back as Babylon.” – http://www.davidgilhooly.com. The flood gates were open now!

Gilhooly went on to create a FrogWorld with inhabitants like Frog George and Martha Washington and FrogMount Rushmore to name a few. In the alternate FrogWorld universe, there were gods and goddesses, wars and marriages.  Historical characters from different eras interacted and created the most fabulous imaginary universe.  Frogfood evolved out of FrogWorld as a concept of being a FrogStore or FrogSupermarket and actually being all one piece because the inhabitants of FrogWorld would obviously have to eat.

Are you curious to see our selection of FrogFood? You can either come into our gallery and indulge in a variety of FrogFood delicacies or feel free to check them out on our website – http://www.findlay.com/artists_details.php?artist_id=23.

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