This is a pancake art rendition of Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker, from the 2019 film of the same name directed by Todd Philips. This art pancake was made by Daniel James Drake in advance of the film’s release as both a creative challenge and as content ‘to feed the algorithm’. The process of creating and preserving this piece, though, surprised him in a lot of ways, and represents an important time of personal transformation in his life. It is the first preserved art pancake that will be sold at auction.
The piece uses stark whites, ghostly greens and blues, and vibrant warm reds, golds, and browns to capture the character’s visage illuminated beneath a clinical light in one of the film’s most iconic frames. During preservation the pancake was pressed, causing fractures to appear throughout, and the portrait seems to be ‘cracking up’, as though it were an extension of the character. The pancake has been suspended within 2 layers of tabletop resin, poured into a simple frame, cut and assembled by Hank Gustafson.