Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jeff Koons Retrospective at The Whitney + FOOD Shrimp Rémoulade

Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988)
Koons often focuses on the kitsch, garish and sentimental objects, transforming them into aesthetic sculptures. This piece was based on a publicity photo of Michael Jackson and his pet chimpanzee, Bubbles, Koon’s hired German and Italian craftsmen (usually employed to design religious idols and objects) to create this porcelain sculpture. It belongs to the artist’s popular series from the ‘80s, "Banality" which includes sculptures of 
the pink panther and Buster Keaton.

Jeff Koons
at the Whitney

Jeff Koons is widely regarded as one of the most important, influential, popular, and controversial artists of the postwar era. Throughout his career, he has pioneered new approaches to the readymade, tested the boundaries between advanced art and mass culture, challenged the limits of industrial fabrication, and transformed the relationship of artists to the cult of celebrity and the global market. Yet despite these achievements, Koons has never been the subject of a retrospective surveying the full scope of his career. Comprising almost 150 objects dating from 1978 to the present, this exhibition will be the most comprehensive ever devoted to the artist’s groundbreaking oeuvre. By reconstituting all of his most iconic works and significant series in a chronological narrative, the retrospective will allow visitors to understand Koons’s remarkably diverse output as a multifaceted whole.
This exhibition will be the artist’s first major museum presentation in New York, and the first to fill nearly the entirety of the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building with a single artist’s work. It will also be the final exhibition to take place there before the Museum opens its new building in the Meatpacking District in 2015. 


Tulips, 1995–98
Oil on canvas
111 3⁄8 × 131 in. (282.9 × 332.7cm).
(Photo courtesy of the Whitney Museum)
Private collection. © Jeff Koons

Liberty Bell, 2006–14
Bronze, wood, wrought iron, and cast iron
 102 × 72 1⁄4 x 56 1⁄4 in. (259 × 183.4 × 143 cm).
(Photo courtesy of the Whitney Museum)
Private collection. © Jeff Koons

One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1985)
You can gaze at this mesmerizing sculpture for a long time, only later realizing that you have been transfixed by a mere basketball floating in a glass tank full of water. It took vigorous scientific investigations and a consultation with Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard P. Feynman for Koons to put this seemingly simple sculpture together. To get the ball to float in the tank he filled both the ball and the tank with a solution of highly refined 
salt and distilled water.
Antiquity 3 (2009–11)
Koons's studio also produces oil-on-canvas painting. His Antiquity series superimposes classical art works with modern ideals of beauty. Antiquity 3, 2009–11 is a massive 8-by-11 foot canvas depicting ‘50s pinup star Bettie Page straddling a dolphin, which overlaps an image of Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The painting shows how beauty has evolved over time.

Balloon Dog (Yellow) (1994–2000)
Balloon Dog is by far Koons’ most easily recognizable work, the ten foot, one ton shiny stainless steel sculptures demonstrate Koons’ classic use of sentimentality, taking us back to the innocence of childhood mixed with unsettling sexual undertones – evinced in the dog’s phallic tale or suggestive snout. To achieve the weightlessness of a balloon dog the sculpture went through an extensive engineering process that involved joining sixty separate precision-engineered, stainless steel parts.

Play-Doh (1994-2014)
The showstopper of the entire exhibition is a ten-foot tall, super realistic, aluminum sculpture of a pile of play-doh. The piece took 20 years to make and is a replica of a mound of play-doh the artist’s then-young son, Ludwig, bought home from school one day. It follows Koons’ aesthetic philosophy of elevating banality (everyday objects and materials) 
into spectacular works of art.

(Source: Photos coutesy of the Whitney Museum, some information captions came from

(Source for 9 Above: Photographer Hrag Vartanian,
link:< > 
the Whitney Museum, Jeff Koons exhibition.)

(Source for 4 Above: Photographer Thomas Micchelli.
link:< >
the Whitney Museum, Jeff Koons exhibition.)

(Source: Photos coutesy of the Whitney Museum of American Art, The editorial information in this issue is intended to promote and inform readers about the Whitney Museum Exhibition: "Jeff Koons a Retrospective". All art images in this article are © Copyright Jeff Koons, The Whiney Museum of American Art, the individual photographers, fabricators, or respective owners or assignees - images are for editorial use only and not intended to be republished. The Jeff Koons © Copyright is reserved under all International intellectual property and copyright laws.)

Shrimp Rémoulade
from Galatoire’s, a Bourbon Street institution since 1905
From their website: Shrimp Rémoulade is in every New Orleans girl’s arsenal of favored dishes for relaxed entertaining. Serve this simple dish on elegant china and it’s fit for a king- Mardi Gras or otherwise. This is our most popular dish and most frequently requested recipe. Bonus for the home cook: The sauce is definitely best made a day in advance and refrigerated, then all that’s left to do is toss in the shrimp and plate and serve. It’s a snap to make, yet it’s always impressive.
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • ¾ cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
  • ½ cup chopped curly parsley
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup tomato purée
  • ½ cup Creole mustard or any coarse, grainy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or to taste
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Spanish hot paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup salad oil
  • 4 dozen jumbo (15 count) shrimp, peeled, boiled, and chilled
  • 1 small head of iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and cut into thin ribbons
Mince the celery, scallions, parsley, and onions in a food processor. Add the ketchup, tomato puree, Creole mustard, horseradish, red wine vinegar, paprika, and Worcestershire. Begin processing again and add the oil in a slow drizzle to emulsify. Stop when the dressing is smooth. Chill for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Correct the seasoning with additional horseradish, if desired after the ingredients have had the opportunity to marry.
In a large mixing bowl, add the sauce to the shrimp and toss gently to coat. Divide the lettuce among 6 chilled salad plates. Divide the shrimp evenly atop the lettuce and serve.
Serves 6
(Source: Galatoire’s)

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness through the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved for all content. Concept, Original Art, Original Text & "Original or Assigned Photography" are © Copyright 2014 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All photographs were taken and/or used with permission. Artworks © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dale Chihuly Exhibition at The Denver Botanic Gardens + FOOD: Chilean Seabass with Flame-Roasted Baby Gold Potatoes

Dale Chihuly's "glass plants" brighten up Denver's Botanic Gardens.
Chihuly Exhibition
at The Denver Botanic Gardens

We are feturing a second* Chihuly show this month in ARTSnFOOD, this exhibition is at The Denver Botanic Gardens. Here Chihuly's organic and often plant-like glass artworks interact perfectly with the horticultural flora of Denver's centrally located public garden!

(*Referencec to July 13, 2014 issue of ARTSnFOOD

The finalé is a glass/neon sculpture!

"This is the first major outdoor exhibition in the Rocky Mountain Region by Washington artist Dale Chihuly. It includes 12 outdoor sculptures, including a towering fountain that lights up at night, and two pieces indoors. The sculptures, made of blown glass in strong colors, sometimes echo, sometimes contrast with garden features.
"The intricate forms came in a passel of semi-trucks, and took a team of Chihuly technicians 11 days to install, said Erin Bird, communications manager for the garden." This text by  for KUNC Community radio for Northern Colorado / link

 (Source: All photos © Copyright 2014 Jack A. Atkinson)

+ A Tossed Salad
Food notes by Jack A. Atkinson

Recently I have cooked some of the best fish meals I can remember and the main ingredients came via mail-order from Omaha Steaks. 
(Chilean Sea Bass, item # 2326MRA & Flame-Roasted Baby Gold Potatoes, item # 2359MRA - Some communities in the USA have retail stores selling the frozen entrée to carry home with you.)

This company's frozen, wild caught Chilean Sea bass happily sits in your freezer waiting for your desire for a fabulous meal. You do have to thaw the fish in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking, so there is some planning ahead, but "Oh!" the tender flavor and texture of this fish will make your head swim.

I recommend you create your salad before you start on the fish, because when the meal is ready, you will want to eat without delay.

When I am ready to prepare the Seabass, I take the thawed fish from the fridge. (In the past if it was not completely thawed I would put it on a metal or a stone surface to sap the rest of the frost out of the fish.) I then remove it from its plastic bag and rinse the fillet gently, but thoroughly, and dry it with several paper towels until the surface is mostly dry (NEVER press too hard, you want to retain the moisture inside fish).

Sprinkle both sides of the fish fillet with salt and pepper or a pre-made steak seasoning which has both S&P plus more seasonings. 

Put a knob of butter in a large skillet and add 1 Tbs of good olive oil. Turn the fire on high. 

When the butter has melted swirl the pan to mix the two oils and place the seasoned fish into the pan. 

Set a timer for 5 minutes. 
(Many timers require you to go past the 10 min. mark to start working, so I set mine on 10 minutes and count down from there.)

After 30 seconds or so, lift the fish with a spatula and tilt the pan to make certain the oil in under all of the fish fillet. After 2 minutes and 30 seconds of cooking time, turn the fish and cook the other side for another 2 minutes - 2 minutes, 30 seconds at the most. Remove the fish to a plate to rest for 30 seconds. 

While the fish is cooking, microwave the Omaha Steaks Flame-Roasted Baby Gold Potatoes for 3 minutes 30 seconds in their packaging - afterwards let them rest for 1 minute.

Cut the fillet down the middle to make two small portions, add several potatoes to each plate and ample tossed and dressed salad.

Pour some white wine, add nice china with sterling silverware and you have a meal worthy of the good conversation surrounding it.

Our fish was moist and perfectly cooked inside, with a crisp crust on the outside. The whole preparation, including the making of the salad takes only about 15 minutes and the meal was indeed memorable.

Omaha Steak's Published Instructions

Chilean Sea Bass 
Product Information & 
Preparation Instructions:

If you've not had the pleasure of dining on tender, moist Chilean Sea Bass, consider this a stroke of luck! The natural... rich... buttery flavor is sure to amaze and delight you and the fortunate guests with whom you share this superb seafood entree. The large, delicate, moist flakes will seem to melt on your tongue... leaving you wishing for another, and yet another bite of this gourmet delight.

Thaw in refrigerator.
SEAR ROAST: Preheat oven at 300°F. Preheat an oven-proof skillet with a small amount of cooking oil. Carefully place Sea Bass in hot pan. Cook for 6 minutes on first side. Carefully turn over fish then place skillet into preheated oven. Cook for 10 minutes in oven.
PAN SAUTE: Preheat skillet with small amount of cooking oil in pan on high. Place Sea Bass in pan and cook for 6-7 minutes then turn over sea bass and continue to cook for 5-6 minutes.
BROIL: Preheat broiler and position top rack so that the fish will end up 2-3" from the element. Brush Sea Bass with melted butter or olive oil. Broil Sea Bass 7-8 minutes on each side or until opaque throughout. 
GRILL: Preheat grill on high. Remove fillets from packaging and spray with non-stick cooking oil. Reduce heat to medium. Grill fillets, covered, 7-8 minutes per side taking care when flipping and removing from grill, due to the fragile nature of Sea Bass.

(Reference: Omaha Steaks, Seafood by World Port section; seafood fillets,

Until later,
ARTSnFOOD, is an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness through the Arts and Food." ™ All rights reserved for all content. Concept, Original Art, Original Text & "Original or Assigned Photography" are © Copyright 2014 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All photographs were taken and/or used with permission. Artworks © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees