Some fruits and veggies already have, shall we say, certain implications. I’m looking at you, peaches and eggplants. But an exhibit at Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York City proves that all produce can get in on the fun. The exhibit features extraordinarily *sensual* portrayals of a variety of fruits and veggies — lemons, peppers, spaghetti squash, and even parsnips. Don’t think a pepper can be sexy? You may eat your words when you see “Misshapen Pepper.”

The “Harvest” exhibit opened on September 7 and features nearly 50 terracotta sculptures created by the artist Judy Fox. “Farm produce is cultivated to look tasty and robust,” said Fox in a description of the exhibit. “But these subjects are marred in ways that resonate with the viewer. Some are misshapen or diseased. Some are reminiscent of body parts, gestures or cartoons. Appetite and anxiety are integrated with humor.”

“Harvest” helps you appreciate your veggies…and other things.

Scrolling through images of Fox’s sculptures, I definitely felt the balance of appetite, anxiety, and humor. I never knew a cassava could make me feel some type of way. And don’t even get me started on the heirloom tomato.

Many people tend to think of fruits and veggies as boring and one-note. I’m certainly guilty of it. We have one idea of what broccoli should look like, smell like, taste like, and anything that strays from that is “weird” and possibly suspect. Fox’s exhibit highlights the beautiful variety of natural produce. Our earth can produce such a wonderfully diverse range of foods, and it’s a shame that we often expect them all to look and taste the same.

Fruits and veggies that don’t fit the factory farm mold are often labeled as “ugly produce.” Some perfectly good products are even tragically tossed based solely on appearance, although some companies are working to change that. Appreciating the natural beauty and diversity of our food is critical to reducing food waste and working towards sustainability.

But “Harvest” isn’t just about appreciating your fruits and veggies. It’s also about body acceptance. The idea of bodacious squash and bootylicious tomatoes may seem silly at first, and it certainly is humorous, but Fox’s work also sends a deeper message about the beauty of diversity, in our bodies and in our food. And TBH I still haven’t gotten over “Navel Orange”...yeah, I’ll just leave it at that.

The “Harvest” exhibit at Nancy Hoffman Gallery ended on October 21, but can still be viewed online at Nancy Hoffman Gallery’s website