Alyson Thomas's Whimsical, Must-Love Butchery Diagrams

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Meat is only the beginning for an artist who joyfully reimagines the innards of artichokes, ice cream cones, and even ghosts

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Life channel regular Tejal Rao, chronicler of Chile's racy coffee shops, spleen sandwiches, stoner cookery, and any place where food and design collide, has a new post up on her personal site about the beautiful butchery diagrams of San Francisco artist Alyson Thomas—a happy coincidence, since I spent at least a week earlier this year smiling to myself about the Thomas creation shown above. It's a funny reminder that, as Rao puts it, "the butcher's diagram is not a pig. It's a pig-shaped cluster of potential deliciousness."

Other than the Tokyo Ramen God posters from Brooklyn woodcut specialists Cannonball Press, I can't think of any affordable food art I've enjoyed recently more than Thomas's "hot meat illustrations," which she chronicles on the blog meat sections. Rao likes Thomas's many variations on the pig chart, since they "vary so much in style and format (paint, paper, plastic and frosting, to name a few)." But I'm a bigger fan of her non-pig diagrams, which reimagine everything from carrots to ice cream cones to the sort of dog that looks like a hot dog but is not in fact something most people would want to eat. (Although there's always "the tastiest pig part," above.) You be the judge, though, and take a look at the selection of Thomas's images in the gallery below, all of which are available on Etsy. And then support her continued creativity by buying a print or two.

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Daniel Fromson, a former associate editor at The Atlantic, is a writer based in Washington, D.C. He writes regularly for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in Harper's Magazine, New York, and Slate.

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