In 1977, guests at an exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston famously got involved in a food fight using the work of Antonio Miralda, the pioneering food artist. The piece, titled Breadline, was a giant wall of loaves of bread that was being assembled during the opening by the Kilgore Rangerettes, Texas’ most iconic cheerleaders. This is true. According to legend, a drunken guest tore a piece off one of the loaves and threw it at another guest, and pretty soon all hell broke loose. In her book Interlock: Art, Conspiracy, and the Shadow Worlds of Mark Lombardi, Patricia Goldstone recounts the melee, which was ultimately broken up by the police outside the museum.
This story has passed into affectionate legend in the Houston art scene, but it got me thinking about food on this, our most foodish of days. So much art involving food has a warmth and a generosity of spirit to it: Miralda’s participatory “food sculptures”; Rirkrit Tiravanija serving free rice and curry; Allison Knowles making a vast salad; Lee Ming Wei sharing a meal with a stranger, an idea originally conceived when the artist was a lonely first-year grad student at Yale.
Today, we eat. We gather together.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone. We are thankful for the art.