Chef Provocateur Craig Thornton On the Art of Underground Dining
“The opening dish is venison, ripped apart and strewn onto the plate to look like a bloody and decayed piece of meat,” says Craig Thornton of the visceral food he will be serving up at Cut Your Teeth, the collaborative installation made with artist Matthew Bone that opens today at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. “You are eating something that looks eerily similar to a deer carcass, but the dish itself includes moss, blackberry beet gastrique, coffee cocoa crumble and purple cabbage.” Armed with a range of culinary experience—from learning his trade at Thomas Keller’s Las Vegas bistro Bouchon to becoming Nicholas Cage’s private chef—and having recently received profiles in The New Yorker and Hollywood Reporter, the man behind culinary sensation Wolvesmouth is captured here by filmmaker Jordan Bahat in a Downtown Los Angeles loft during one of his monthly conceptual dinners. “The Santa Monica installation is the first foray into a direction I’ve wanted to take Wolvesmouth for a long time,” says Thornton, who will be working with art impresario Jeffrey Deitch when Cut Your Teeth moves to New York. “It is a snapshot of everything we push away to keep this perfect idealized box of what we think reality is, leaving a lot of people devoid of knowing where their food comes from.”
Cut Your Teeth runs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, October 16 through October 26 and in New York City November 7 through December 14.
Existential Conversations Between the Multimedia Artist and Her Fluorescent Friends
Milanese artist Paola Pivi’s vivid polar bears ask profound life questions in an excerpt of Ivan Olita’s playful short that continues our Week of Art. L’Officiel Italia’s Editor-at-Large channels the subconscious of Pivi’s brightly colored sculptures, taking on the role of filmmaker and ventriloquist at Parisian art dealer Emmanuel Perrotin’s Madison Avenue outpost, where the works are currently on show. “It’s definitely more interesting talking to a bear than talking to me,” says Olita. “I felt they had so many things to ask Paola, their creator.” In the past, her animal-inspired installations have variously included a leopard borrowed from a German magician, a pair of zebras in the snowy Alaskan wilderness and an all-white menagerie of horses, cows, ducks and llamas in a warehouse space at the Venice Biennale. Presently residing in India, Pivi lived in Anchorage, Alaska until earlier this year. It is a locale reflected in the form of the feathered neon bears made from urethane foam and plastic on display at the New York exhibition Ok, you are better than me, so what?—so named, says the artist, to provide an “interesting sentence in our competitive society.”
Do you know any stories about bears?
Paola Pivi: An old Inuit tale: Do you know why polar bears are even more dangerous on the ice? Because they cover their nose with their white paw so you only see two black spots, the eyes. It means that you do not recognize them anymore because usually you tell them from seeing three black spots in the snow.
Do you have any animals of your own?
PP: There was a dog in Alaska who clearly had as much feeling for me as I did for her, but my husband said we could not keep her—if we went to the supermarket, locked her in the car and went shopping, it would not fair on her.
What has been your favorite animal to work with?
PP: Definitely zebras. They just posed for me.
The Japanese Neo-Dadaist Makes a Slow-Mo Splash
A paean to eternal themes of love, sacrifice and the enduring pull of the creative process, Zachary Heinzerling makes his filmmaking debut with Cutie and the Boxer, a meditative observation of painter and boxer Ushio Shinohara. This exclusive sequence, shot on a Phantom camera, shows Ushiro pummeling the glass ‘canvas’ with affecting vigor. The former enfant terrible moved to New York from his native Japan in 1969 in search of international recognition that has never quite materialized. In the Sundance-fêted documentary, Heinzerling captures the Octogenarian and his long-suffering wife and de facto assistant Noriko preparing for their first joint exhibition: Ushio will present a selection of his ‘box paintings’––Jackson Pollock-inspired abstractions created by hurling paint-covered boxing gloves across a massive canvas, and Noriko, a showcase a series of witty illustrations entitled “Cutie and the Bullie,” which satirize their turbulent 40-year-old marriage. “Ultimately, my goal was to absorb the audience in the raw spirit and beauty that emanates from the couple,” explains Heinzerling. “To open a door onto the creative and very private world where the rhythms of the Shinoharas’s lives play out.” The result is an intimate tapestry of a challenging partnership, cemented by a bond that transcends their various artistic and financial impediments.
Cutie and the Boxer hit cinemas in the US this weekend, and will premiere in Europe November 1.