Hunger Can Gogh

A recreation of Vincent Van Gogh’s Self Portrait, rendered in 3326 cans.
Project Information

As the 2019 People’s Choice Award Winner for Canstruction Toronto’s charity event for the Daily Bread Food Bank, this sculpture was constructed with over 3000 cans to mimic the iconic visage of Vincent van Gogh.

Lead Designer, Project Manager – Team of 6

Rhinoceros 3D, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign

Project Year & Timeframe
2019 – 3 months

Project context and scope

Canstruction is a charity event that takes place every year across North America. Design teams across multiple cities strive to build sculptures with cans of high-demand food items, which are funded by sponsors to go to various local food equality programs.

For our design, the look of the structure was inspired by Van Gogh’s “Self Portrait”, and was achieved through a 3D model of the head. The model was then scaled contoured based on the height of one selected tin can. These lines proved to be unusable, but were cleaned and manually redrawn by hand to be capable of supporting the cans.

The head structure was then arrayed with the required can colours & sizes, from which the shell of the model can be designed further with structural threaded rods and CNC fabricated hardboard support layers.

The ingredients list for making one Hunger Can Gogh structure includes the following, thanks to generous sponsors.

  • 840 cans of PC Blue Menu Chickpeas, 540ml
  • 840 cans of PC Blue Menu Black Beans, 540ml
  • 50 cans of Bar Harbor Salmon Chowder, 398ml
  • 360 cans of Amy’s Organic Soups Butternut Squash, 398ml
  • 204 cans of Amy’s Organic Chilli Medium with Vegetables, 398ml
  • 600 cans of Heinz Beans Original in Tomato Sauce, 398ml
  • 312 cans of Cedar Phoenicia Romano Beans, 540ml
  • 120 cans of Cedar Phoenicia White Kidney Beans, 540ml

Design Documentation

For build day, I exported the design as a 21-page layer-by-layer build guide for the team and assisting volunteers to work from.

A big thanks to the core team, and all the volunteers!

  • Amanda Ross
  • Nicola Bauer
  • Abigail David
  • Kevin Khou
  • Melissa Malo
  • Various volunteers to assist in building

Build Day Photos

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