Monday, September 5, 2022

Food in Art

 I paid a visit to the National Museum of Art in Mexico City's "Centro Histórico" to see a special exhibit entitled "Festín de Sabores - Banquete Mexicano" (Feast of Flavors - Mexican Banquet).  This is art that is straight forward and easy to understand.  It's all about FOOD!

The first thing you see is an oil painting on fabric, done by Eugenia Marcos in 2012, which shows all the food products which originated in Mexico.  Many of them are commonly known north of the border... corn, beans, peppers, tomatoes, avocados, squash, vanilla, cacao, papayas, mangos, sweet potatoes, peanuts 

Others are rarely, if ever, seen in our supermarkets up north... mameyes, pitahayas, zapotes, chayotes, tejocotes.  There are even a few that I have never heard of such as colorín or cuajinicuil.

Some of the paintings depict Mexican market scenes or food vendors.

"Michoacán Market" 1940
by Luis Sahagún Cortés

"La Merced"
by Gustavo Montoya
(La Merced is one of the largest markets in Mexico City.)

by Alfonso X. Peña

 "The Tortilla Vendor" 1973
by Manuel Muñoz Olivares

"Chocolate Vendor in Cuetzalan" 1981
by Manuel Muñoz Olivares

"The Butcher Shop" 1943
by Alfredo Zalce

"The Fruit Vendor" 1951
by Olga Costa

"Do You Like?"  1981
by Humberto Limón Salazar
(This is an example of the rather kitschy art that was created for calendars.)

There were numerous examples of still lifes picturing food...

"El Mole" 1967
by Francisco Bernal del Río
(This painting depicts all the ingredients that go into the preparation of "mole".)

"Still Life with Watermelon" 1941
by Ramón Alva de la Canal

"Ofrenda" 1996
by Manuel Muñoz Olivares
(Items which might be placed on an altar for the Day of the Dead)

"Aguas Frescas" 2000
by Armando Ahuatzi
(The fruit-flavored beverages that are so popular in Mexico)

"Juice stand with Signs" 2019
by Elena Clement

Finally, there are paintings which reflect the reality of modern 21st century Mexico...

"In the Supermarket" 2014
by Miguel Angel Garrido

"I Choose" 2018
by Antonio Chaurand

"Pizza and Beer" 2014
by Miguel Angel Garrido

"Fast Food No.1" 2017
by Israel Salinas
(Sad, but certainly a part of present-day Mexico)

A museum employee asked me if I liked the show, and I said, "What's not to like about food!"

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