There’s been a slight change to NBA Sundays. Because My Morning Chocolate’s guest blogger and NBA fanatic Kenny Yee (my husband) is also an enthusiastic artist, Sundays in May will now be devoted to the intersection of Food and Art. I’ll use the playoffs in another post. If you enjoy art, Kenny is also a talented painter; you can view his work on his website.
Jen and I finally made it over to the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) to see the Cezanne and American Modernism show (I highly recommend it – it closes May 23rd), an exhibit that pays homage to the French artist whose innovation would inspire a shift from 19th century Impressionism to the Modern Art movement of the 20th century.
A good third of the exhibit showcased Cezanne’s bold still-life paintings, which inspired this first of four “Food and Art” blog postings (every Sunday in May). Seeing his complex compositions of various fruits painted in bright colors reminded me how food was always a popular subject for still-lifes throughout art history, dating back to ancient civilizations. While fruit and wine were popular images – Van Gogh worked with the potato – other aspects of food from the cooks to the preparation and the whole ritual of the meal were being celebrated in art.
Artists’ use of food has evolved with the changing periods throughout art history, marking the current trends. Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup can series epitomized the Pop movement, while Judy Chicago’s the Dinner Party celebrated women and Feminist Art.
In today’s contemporary art world, a lot of attention is focused on making art that is socially-conscious. On my first visit to the BMA, I saw Zoe Leonard’s shriveled fruit skins that were stitched up like baseballs and lined neatly across a clean white shelf. These hollowed out skins, decaying before the public, informed me just how far food in art has come along. No longer is food just a subject to paint or draw, but it is now incorporated in performance art and on a more conceptual and intellectual level.
And all this time you thought food was just something you eat.
Next Sunday, in my Food and Art posting, I will highlight one of my favorite things to consume, as well as incorporate in my art: COFFEE!