THE packaging of the pasta he consumed during lockdown gave artist and designer Nik Bentel the "ah-ha" moment behind one of his latest creations - a leather bag.

The article in question has been the subject of much discussion and mirth and hilarity on the web. Internet users have been numerous in signalling their approval of this item, which will soon be available for sale on the artist's website.

Eating too much pasta could give some people indigestion. But designer Nik Bentel took one of lockdown's food crazes and turned it into inspiration.

Drawing on the aesthetics of the Barilla pasta brand's "Penne" package, the artist designed a leather accessory that reproduces the dimensions, colors, and lettering of the cardboard box but becomes a handbag with the handle and strap.

Of course, there's no denying that the artist knows how to generate buzz. Back in July, Nik revealed images of his creation on the networks with the caption, "During the most brutal months of the pandemic, just about everyone had a similar experience of staring at the box of pasta, so why not try to reimagine the box's purpose into something a little more exciting!"

Exciting indeed. The post went viral, getting more than 220,000 likes and more than 25,000 retweets in less than 24 hours. Since then, many pasta aficionados have shared their admiration for this unique and kitschy accessory.

Looking at everyday objects with new perspective

Nikolas Bentel, the artist and designer behind the handbag in question, is an artist and designer who "creates products and performances that engage viewers to reimagine their everyday objects," according to his website. Bentel, who graduated from the prestigious Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, "has been commissioned by brands to create exciting, strange and engaging experiences using alternate forms of product design, advertising and performance art."

And the Pasta Bag indeed looks to be a successful example of such an approach, although the artist outlines that "this is in no way affiliated with Barilla." The creation is a limited edition (100 pieces), available for $199 starting August 11.

Art and furniture

This isn't the first time that the designer has been making headlines. Back in 2018, Nick presented a collection of furniture that was highly original and highly personal. In fact, it was based on himself, naked, in different positions, sometimes imitating a chair, a coffee table or a bookcase. The Corpus Collection featured in a series of films called "All Purpose Nik."