Most self-respecting grocery chains in big cities across the world today will have a selection of gluten-free products to cater to the rising number of people who opt for products like gluten-free chips, cookie dough and even bread.
While some people the world over suffer from celiac disease, a digestive and autoimmune disease that makes them unable to digest gluten (the name for protiens present in cereals like wheat, rye and barley), and have no choice but to opt for gluten-free foods, the gluten-free diet became popular among many others in 2011 thanks to the bestselling book, Wheat Belly, which referred to gluten as a “chronic poison”.
Amused by this fad, French graphic artist and blogger Arthur Coulet dedicated his Tumblr blog to creating what he called a Gluten-Free Museum. He took it upon himself to remove all references to gluten cereals from famous paintings and iconic scenes from popular culture.
The French graphic artist has been posting pictures on his Tumblr blog since February 2015.
Coulet gives his viewers a taste of life without bread, pasta, doughnuts and even beer! The left side of each panel shows the original image, while the right side shows the same work, just gluten-free, an adjustment that would convert the work of artist Wayne Thiebaud – known for his colourful paintings of cakes, pies, and pastries – into a blank canvas.
In other posts, Jean-Francois Millet’s famous painting, The Gleaners, appears without its fields of golden wheat, the spaghetti scene from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp looks considerably different without the plate of spaghetti and meatballs to fall in love over; and an evening tea spread looks a little sad without the mandatory scones and cookies.
One could look at Coulet’s gluten-free museum as a mockery of a fad diet, or as a celebration of personal choice. However, in an interview to Elle magazine, the artist declared that his work was not a commentary, or a dietary message, but just a tool to get people to notice historic pieces of art. “Trends can be a way to see great art,” he said.