New Book Shows Off Cheesy Collaboration between Artist John G and Melt Restaurant
From Renaissance still lifes of fruit to Andy Warhol's soup cans, there is a long tradition of artists celebrating food. But here in Northeast Ohio, there is a food-and-art collaboration unlike any other.
For nearly ten years, Cleveland artist John G has created a rock poster for the monthly sandwich special at Melt Bar & Grilled restaurant. Known for outrageous grilled cheese sandwiches like "The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon Melt" and the "New Bomb Turkey," Melt is the brainchild of chef and musician - Matt Fish.
For John G, the project began with his love for Fish's cheesy creations.
"I'm a big fan of the food," John G said.
In 2009, John G came up with a novel idea to create a monthly rock poster for Fish's over-the-top grilled cheese sandwiches.
"I had the vision for monthly special posters turning sandwiches into events," John G said.
That idea helped propel Melt to culinary fame in Ohio with 13 restaurants now open in Cleveland, Akron, Canton, Columbus and Dayton.
Now a new book, Sandwich Anarchy: The Cult Culinary Posters of Melt Bar & Grilled, celebrates this artistic ode to the grilled cheese sandwich.
Earlier this year when John G and the folks from Cleveland's 1984 Publishing came to Fish with their idea for a book, they went for the hard sell. It turned out to be unnecessary.
"They had this secretive meeting set up like, 'Matt we want to talk to you about something. Are you sitting down? We want to put a poster art book out of all the Melt posters.' Thinking I was going to have to deliberate over this like, 'I don't know if we should guys.' I mean I was like, 'This is a no brainer!" Fish said.
John G takes great pride in this project that began on a whim.
"It's very rewarding to me to have a poster out there in the world and have somebody get in touch and say, 'Man that made me want to go get that sandwich," John G said.
Fish knows that a lot of Melt's success over the years has come from John G's artistic portrayal of his sandwiches.
"John's art is synonymous with Melt. They're partners from now until the end of time," Fish said.
John G's Sandwich Anarchy: The Cult Culinary Posters of Melt Bar & Grilled comes out October 31 from 1984 Publishing.
Listen to the entire interview: