dDIY #14: Surrealist Dinner Party - Part 1: The Appetizer

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Salvador Dali is famous for his Surrealist paintings, like the ones on view in the DAM exhibition Modern Masters. Little known fact, though - Dali’s imagination stretched well beyond the canvas and into the kitchen. When he was not painting melting clocks, Dali was writing and illustrating a cookbook called Les Diners de Gala, published in 1973.

For Digital DIY #14, we invite you to create a Surrealist dinner party.  We combed through the incredibly eccentric offerings in Les Diners de Gala to find four of the more feasible recipes to test out. Get ready as we present a three-course meal (in four parts) dreamed up by Dali. Whether the food is dinner worthy, we’ll leave up to you.

For Part 1: The appetizer, we have Thousand Year Old Eggs.  Made with love, patience (and a six year old helper) by DAM master teacher Stefania Van Dyke.

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Stefania’s experience: I decided to make this a family activity and enlisted the help of my 6-year-old son, Sebastian. I showed him pictures of Dali and some of his paintings first, to set the mood and to make it clear that this would be weird. I think that freed us both to have fun with it. When the recipe was unclear, I let Sebastian improvise. Dali instructs the home chef to add “a lot of Tobasco [sic.] sauce.” At your discretion, Sebastian. During the process, I couldn’t help but think how proud the artist would be of our version of this dish. Some of the eggs cracked when they were boiling, so they became these amorphous, oozy blobs. The Surrealists’ interest in rejecting rationality and leaving things to chance were seriously at play. And Sebastian had a blast—he even declared that for Halloween this year he’ll go as “Salvador Zombi.” Sadly, he didn’t get to taste the fruits of his labor because I brought the sealed jar to the office, hosted the (unsuccessful) tasting, and promptly dumped the contents in the dumpster out back.

Find Stefania’s version of Dali’s recipe here.

(Recipe from Les Diners de Gala. Trans. Captain J. Peter Moore. (1973). New York, NY: Felicie, Inc. Publishers.)

Fly Art

The DAM Task Party at Untitled #65 (Say Anything) was all about mixing things up, messing around with materials and making new friends. The instructions were simple (pull a TASK, complete the TASK, write a new TASK), and anything was possible! 

Here’s a sampling of visitor-invented TASKs: 

  • Start a drum circle
  • Become a statue and don’t move until someone asks you what you’re doing
  • Ask someone for directions to the Zoo…without talking
  • Dance the Macarena
  • Make an engagement ring and propose to a stranger
  • Create a bowling ball and pins and invite strangers to bowl with you
  • Lay on the floor and swim in straws
  • Serenade the person to your left with the “Let it Go” song from Frozen
  • Make a pair of wands and have a magical duel with someone
  • Start a celebration
  • Create a hat from popsicle sticks and give it to a stranger
  • Hug everyone with a black shirt
  • Divide the space
  • Use all of the pipe cleaners
  • Crown yourself king and queen and see how many followers you can gain
  • Make a paper airplane and fly a note to a stranger
  • Find Tina
  • Start an auction for a nearby item
  • Draw a portrait of someone you don’t know
  • Wrap yourself ENTIRELY in something shiny
  • Make a fake camera. Find models to do a photo shoot. Really work it!
  • Create the sky
  • Make a tower as tall as yourself
  • Write five tasks
  • Build a sword and knight someone
  • Make the world’s coolest scarf
Which is more difficult to draw, realism or abstraction?

Well there’s lots more in the realistic drawing. The abstract was done in a quarter of the time because I wanted to make flat things three-dimensional and three-dimensional things flat. I dropped out lots of detail. But now I see things I’d like to add. So in the end the abstract drawing might take just as much time as the realistic drawing. That’s what happens when you look back at something. 
Loran, Drop-in Drawing, April 8, 2014

Which is more difficult to draw, realism or abstraction?

Well there’s lots more in the realistic drawing. The abstract was done in a quarter of the time because I wanted to make flat things three-dimensional and three-dimensional things flat. I dropped out lots of detail. But now I see things I’d like to add. So in the end the abstract drawing might take just as much time as the realistic drawing. That’s what happens when you look back at something. 

Loran, Drop-in Drawing, April 8, 2014

62 plays

Slam poetry goddess Suzi Q. performed an original poem inspired by Roxanne Swentzell’s Mud Woman Rolls On at Untitled #65 (Say Anything). 

Untitled # 65 Say Anything

laughingsquid:

Stuffed Hair, A Photo Series Featuring a Photographer Who Stuffs His Hair Full of Fun and Colorful Objects

Just because…

Visitors at Untitled #65 (Say Anything) re-mixed artists’ quotes and created new sayings through wearable magnetic poetry. Words to live by!

Spring has sprung! To celebrate we invited Lindsey Housel, Manager of Digital Engagement Programs at the Denver Art Museum, to create a fresh Pairing of artworks and flower arrangements. 

About Lindsey: Shrubs, trees, plants and flowers have been a part of my life in a big way since I was a kid growing up in Oregon and I have my dad to thank for that. He had (still does) a small landscape business complete with a fleet of lawnmowers, acres of Japanese maples, greenhouses filled with hinoki cypress and seasonal blooms. Our own yard showcased the most beautiful rhododendrons, roses, and azaleas. My memories are vivid with trillium blooms peeking out from the forest floor, tulips happily announcing Spring and fragrant hyacinth peeping up from the black, rich soil. Today those memories feed into a love, no… obsession, with floral design and perfumery. I sneak these things into every free moment I have outside of my work at the Denver Art Museum and even manage to sneak it into our programs every once in a while!

About Lindsey’s Pairings: Each of the artworks inspired me in different ways but I knew from the beginning I wanted to choose floral designs that mirrored the artwork. The bamboo screen begged for a pairing that mimicked it’s structure and form—I challenged myself to think beyond a bamboo based design; the Spring tapestry demanded arrangements dripping with color and abundance—so I went with the naturalistic arrangements of Sarah Ryhanen and Amy Merrick and threw in a weeping willow for good measure; the velvet bathrobes were meant to be paired with the velvety texture and confidence of the deep purple iris; while the war shirt requested single blooms gathered from the field; and finally the vase practically taunted me to try and find an arrangement that would complement its iridescence, color palette and shape. 

The Scent of Love: Ancient Perfumes

The goddess of love, beauty, and desire, Aphrodite was also mistress of the seductive arts, perfume primary among them.”

Architecture and Fashion...Together!