The Washington Post

Peeps as works of art

A metaphorical question tends to arise as our judges parse through the hundreds of photograph entries for our annual Peeps Diorama Contest. With as much time and thought as participants spend on creations, have Peeps dioramas become more than a craft project made with lovable holiday treats? Could they be considered works of art?

This year the question feels more pertinent than ever, as many participants turned to a variety of artwork for inspiration. Semi-finalist Mark Rivetti created a magical rendition of Georges Seurat’s painting “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” which brought smiles to judges’ faces for its beautiful use of color and attention to detail.

Matthew Smith, 32, of Falls Church, selected a post-impressionist style painting as his muse. His diorama, “Vincent van Peep Self Portrait” mimics Vincent Van Gogh’s self portraits, using different shades of Peeps and Mike and Ikes to create his likeness.

“Vincent van Peep Self Portrait” by Matthew Smith of Falls Church.

 Jasmine Wu, Renee Huffert and Alison Gaynor chose Pablo Picasso’s curvilinear “Woman with Yellow Hair” as their inspiration, using the uniform shapes of the Peeps to “add a contrast to the roundness and unpredictability of the outline of the woman,” according to their submission.

“Pablo Peepcasso’s ‘Woman with Yellow Hair'” by Jasmine Wu, 16, of Germantown,
Renee Huffert, 17, of Darnestown, Alison Gaynor, 16, of Montgomery Village.

 Toni San Miguel, Logan Weir, and Rosalyn Xu hand painted their replica of the Japanese color woodblock print, “The Great Wave,” by  Katsushika Hokusai.

“Hokusai Kanagawa’s ‘The Great Wave'” by Toni San Miguel, Logan Weir, Rosalyn Xu, 16,16,17, of Gaithersburg.

Kathleen Canedo looked to two of her most beloved artists for her pop art piece. “Keith Haring and Annie Leibovitz have been two of my favorite artists for as long as I can remember – so I naturally love this photo she took of him.”

“Peep Haring as photographed by Annie Peepovitz” by Kathleen Canedo,
46, of Oakton.


And in a tribute to the underground world of street art, Michelle Kim and Neel Kaul of Germantown created an homage to graffiti artist Banksy.

“Peepksy” by Michelle Kim, 16, and Neel Kaul, 17, of Germantown.

Are Peeps transcending the world of snack-turned-craft to become fine art? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Cara Kelly manages the development of editorial tools and presentation for new products and user experiences. She previously worked in the Style section, following the completion of her MA in journalism at American University.



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