Not all food in art is perfect, as many Renaissance artists illustrated. In a current New York times article, photographer Laura Letinsky's work demonstrates the same principles. Both in her fine-art work and in her magazine illustrations she uses chaotic or at least very informal tables with the remains of a meal, a cup of tea, or a party.
According to the article:
"Dirty spoons, empty cantaloupe rinds, half-eaten lollipops and clumsily cut slices of bread are her trade. Her pieces, she said, explore 'the problem of the illusion of perfection.' ...
"Even Brides, a magazine that would presumably want to present images of serenity and order, ran in its July issue Ms. Letinsky’s photographs of table settings. In these pictures macaroons are half-eaten and abandoned. Teacups and bowls are askew, and party organizers have hastily tied together a mishmash of silverware. The associates who work with Ms. Letinsky on these magazine pieces seem tickled by her chaos."
Several slick food magazines have used her work -- but evidently there are still quite a few editors who think their readers aren't ready for such realism.