SXSW: Willie Nelson's Likeness Captured in Toast Portrait

Willie Nelson toast art SXSW 2013 P

Whole Foods created the striking image of the music icon using 352 pieces of toast and a blow torch.

Austin, Texas, is home to much more than music and drinking, it's also the birthplace of Whole Foods Market, the massive natural-foods supermarket chain. So it seems fitting that it, too, would have a presence at this year's South by Southwest. But that it should be with a head-turning portrait of country music hero Willie Nelson rendered in 352 pieces of toast is still somewhat surprising.

The 16-by-22-slice toast-art installation was created by Whole Foods' production-team leader Honey Thompson in celebration of the chain's new online magazine Dark Rye. It will be featured starting Wednesday at the "The Haus of Hipstamatic".

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To create the work, Thompson toasted each piece of bread individually and then used a blow torch to make the darker tones and a fork for crosshatching and fading for definition. According to a Whole Foods spokesperson, all the toast generally started off as the color of Willie’s forehead.

She added in an email, this "perfectly captures what ‘keeps Austin weird’ during this festival: music inspired food art."