Mother's Pride
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ebrowne's picture


Mother’s Pride by Antony Gormley seems a lot more like a great excuse to indulge in one’s carb addiction than fine art, but what do I know?

Mother’s Pride the art piece is made up entirely of Mother’s Pride, the British version of Wonder Bread. Not like actual mother’s pride. No mothers were harmed in the making of this art. They were just disappointed. But in all seriousness, this is an incredible amount of bread. The piece is 9 feet by 6 feet and has a life-size cut out of Gormley in fetal position in the middle of it. There’s definitely something Freudian going on in here, but we’ll get to that later. Gormley didn’t just cut away the parts of the piece that outline his body. He ate them away, which is huge for him because he’s super freaked out by how processed the bread is. So why did he use Mother’s Pride if he thought it was so icky? He explains: “I used Mother's Pride because it was a food furthest from the field, part of a distribution network more akin to gas or electricity. It had nothing to do with mothers and very little to do with pride.” So it’s a joke about how one of the most basic necessities of life can be straight up fake. As Gormley puts it, “Mother’s Pride imposes the memory of the fetal body on a manufactured life-supporting material.” Makes you think twice about that sad sack-lunch bread you’ve been consuming since you were old enough to chew.

But we still don’t know why Gormley ate the bread instead of just cutting it to look like he ate it. We understand the concept of artistic integrity, and artists have done a lot more dangerous things for their art, but he could have just not and said he did. Well...he may have done just that, but let’s choose to believe him on this one. He seems like a straight-shooter. Gormley explained that he wanted to bring about the idea of “the eater and the eaten as the fundamental dialectic of the imminent to the manifest. I wanted to make a work that celebrated human dependency and entropy and that our bodies are not really ours but part of a greater system of transformation.” Mostly when I look at this piece I see major Mommy issues, but I guess it’s more existential than that. It’s supposed to make you think about you and your sandwich’s place in the multiverse.



  1. "Antony Gormley." N.p., 2018. Web. 24 Aug. 2018.
  2. Farndale, Nigel. "Antony Gormley: 'I Feel Terribly Misunderstood'." N.p., 2012. Web. 24 Aug. 2018.
  3. "Mother's Pride – Works – Emuseum." N.p., 2018. Web. 24 Aug. 2018.
  4. Phillips, Sarah. "How We Made: Vicken Parsons And Antony Gormley On Bed." the Guardian. N.p., 2012. Web. 24 Aug. 2018.
  5. Schiller, Jared. Antony Gormley: Breaking Bread | Tateshots. London: Tate, 2015. video.