Van Gogh for Breakfast





Introduction: Van Gogh for Breakfast

This Instructable will teach you how to re-create van Gogh’s iconic painting Starry Night with nothing but bacon. Buckle up! It’s gonna be a delicious, post-impressionistic ride!

First of all, you’ll need to find a clear image of Starry Night. Just pull up google images and print out the best one you can find! You’ll use this as a reference for proper bacon placement.

Gather the following supplies: x-acto knife or other sharp knife, small cutting board, large cutting board or cookie sheet that will accommodate an 11” x 15” picture, ruler, 1 package of turkey bacon, and 2 packages of regular bacon.

Factoid: raw bacon is an excellent moisturizer.

Step 1: 1) Slice

Like all foods that can be classified as delicious, bacon melts when it gets warm. To keep everything as solid as possible only work with one package of meat at a time. Let the rest chill in the fridge.

Open your first bag-o-bacon and, using the sharp knife, gently slice the individual pieces into long strips of white, pink, and red. Keep each strip as long as possible. When you have finished separating the entire first bag, move on to the turkey bacon. Slice up only half of the turkey bacon. Leave the rest of the turkey and the second bag of regular bacon whole. When all is said and done, you will have five piles of color –light turkey bacon, dark turkey bacon, red bacon, pink bacon, and white bacon fat.   

(sliced turkey bacon not pictured)

Step 2: 2) Think

Now stop, turn on some good French Jazz and consider this particular work of art. Since you will be using only bacon, a medium that is in no way, shape, or form conducive to detail, you have to have a firm understanding of what makes this panting recognizable. The cloud swirling across the sky, the tall church steeple rising up from the hills, and the dark treetop in the extreme foreground makes this painting unique. Pay them the most attention, and your efforts will be rewarded.

Step 3: 3) Construct

Now, begin construction! The final picture will be approximately 11” x 15”. On the large cutting board, use the ruler and a pencil to mark out the proper sized rectangle. Discard the ruler and pencil. From the pile of white bacon fat, select the longest pieces to frame the edge of the picture. You should now have a bacontangle (n. an 11” X 15” two-dimensional geometric figure formed of four sides and white bacon fat.) Cover empty baconangle inside with dark turkey slices. This is the foundation of your picture, so cover it thoroughly – none of the cutting board should be showing. This way the finished product will be as solid and beautiful as possible.

Using the piles of color, begin to assemble the picture. This is a picture of layers, so start first with the swirling cloud, and then move onto the moon and the stars. When you are happy with the placement, fill in the sky by weaving swirls of red around the stars and clouds. Open the final package of bacon and use whole pieces to create the hills. Use layers of various depth and breadth to re-create the movement and life of the painting.

Now assemble the Village. From the remaining whole strips of bacon, cut a triangle that’s about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. This is your church steeple. (Fun factoid: if you open it up, you’ll see all the people!) Slice up various smaller squares and triangles that will become the church building and village houses. Place them on the picture in ways that resemble the buildings and church in the painting.

You’re almost finished! Twist the lighter turkey bacon slices and place them in the extreme foreground of the picture, left of center. Houston, we have a treetop! Use the rest of the bacon bits to fill in spots and add detail and interesting texture to the picture. Don’t forget doors and windows in the village, vegetation on the hills, and divots and swirls in the sky. If you have much more energy than I do, you can even incorporate bacon bits, bacon grease, and the sadly misconstrued Canadian bacon.

Step 4: 4) Finished!

Congratulations, your picture is now complete! Photograph it, disassemble it, and fry it up. It’s breakfast time somewhere!

And remember, kids: uncooked meat is unsafe to eat! 

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    34 Discussions

    Awesome its all i can say

    There must be a way to cook it assembled and video it cooking.

    I love your bacon work and this Van Gogh is my favorite but I read something that causes me to convulsively twitch every time i see it. You said, "This is a picture of layers, so start first with the swirling cloud, and then move onto the sun and the stars." The Sun is in fact the Moon. I'd suggest changing this one particular word, at least for my sake :), so I can stop these convulsive twitches.

    2 replies

    Also, you mentioned you didn't know how to transfer it from the cutting board to the baking sheet to bake it. If you could get a large enough baking sheet you could transfer it first to another cutting board then to the baking sheet. To do this get the same size cutting board you already have and place it on top of the one you have the bacon on. Then press them together, I'd advise c clamps cause they'll hold it together better and wont slip, and then flip the boards. Now you'll have the bottom of the bacon picture on top. Place the larger baking sheet over that and do another flip. I would suggest maybe coating it in water first and freezing as this will hold the image together better and keep it from slipping around. then bake and post pics.

    Disassemble? No way! Do this same thing, but in a baking dish. Then bake it. Possibly incorporate cheese in some way. Maybe use a clear dish and a layer of cornbread batter across the top...

    How about "The Scream"? Figure in bacon, the rest of the painting in vegan food?

    Seriously, this bacon pandemic has gotten out of hand. I understand this could really be considered art, but.... it was only created because it was going to be made out of bacon. I would argue it wasn't created just for the art.

    Its getting old. It's wasteful. You have too much time on your hands.

    1 reply

    "you" as in the bacon movement / remembrance.

    I applaud you for the work, it looks great. But how about we move to lesser known and less appriciated foods.

    No disrespect meant towards you in particular, but really. Stop with the bacon.

    When I first made it I wasn't at all thinking of baking the finished product, but I think it would do very well baked. Maybe a slow, long, low temperature dry baking?

    Hi there:

    I love your bacon "Starry Night" instructional guide. I want to do a post about it for LA Weekly's food blog, Squid Ink. Can I use the photo of the finished art to illustrate the post? We will, of course, credit and link back to you. Thanks.

    1 reply

    This is truly great!! I was in a master of fine art class when I worked on my bacon potholder. We need to collaborate on something on line as now my mindis totally greasy! I made potholder out of turkey bacon one time, veggie bacon another and regular another. Then I joined Weight Watchers after cutting all that fat apart.

    Polkadot mom

    This is really special. I once saw the original at the MoMA, and I actually teared up. Were I to see this up close I would surely break down sobbing.

    I would, out of morbid curiosity, like to see it baked as-is.