Archive for ARTISTS


photos: m&j

A whirlwind trip to Tokyo, Sendai and Ishikawa Prefecture to visit dear friends brought so much beauty, love and delight to our hearts and eyes.

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Good-bye, Nora Ephron

Having been huge fans of her work pretty much since her work first began, we are taking the passing of Nora Ephron pretty hard. From Heartburn to Silkwood to Harry & Sally to This Is My Life to the amazing Julie and Julia to Love, Loss, and What I Wore – we were captivated, charmed, obsessed and inspired by her poignant, witty writing and subsequent directing and playwriting. Our friend and collaborator, the wonderful food stylist, Susan Spungen (of Julie and Julia provenance, pictured above with her French onion soup) was with us on set the day the news of Ms. Ephron’s passing broke. And she shared a story of the two of them first bonding over a coconut layer cake that Susan had done for an early cover of Martha Stewart Living – a sweet and simple story, which brought tears to our eyes. A funny feminist and a real “foodie” before there even was such a word, we feel like Nora Ephron was truly in our tribe. But, of course, that’s how everybody feels. And that is why she and her wonderful work will be so sorely missed.

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Saturday Brunch at Wallsé

photos: m&j

Who knew that practically right under our noses on the corner of Washington and West 11th Street exists a pretty terrific and lovely restaurant we had never even heard of, filled with enough modern art to feast our eyes, as well as a plethora of modern Viennese treats to make for a particularly delicious and leisurely brunch? Tucked under a giant Julian Schnabel painting at Wallsé, we enjoyed a first course of Bloody Marys made with fresh tomato water and “cucumber delight” cocktails made from pear-infused vodka, muddled cucumbers, elderflower syrup, lemon and Sekt. The meal continued with hits like spätzle, braised rabbit, wild mushrooms & tarragon, poached eggs, creamed spinach & Bavarian ham and a particularly amazing assortment of desserts including Salzburger Nockerl – a creamy soufflé of buttery meringue over a warm huckleberry compote – YUM!

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kitchen inspired paintings

images: Heather Chontos

We just adore these food and kitchen inspired works by our good friend and sometimes collaborator – prop & set stylist and artist, extraordinaire, Heather Chontos. These and other delightful works are available on her site and blog, milk farm road. Her talents are a constant source of inspiration to us both.

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El Bulli: Cooking in Progress

© Alive Mind Cinema, 2011

This documentary about famed Spanish Chef and food provocateur, Ferran Adrià and his legendary El Bulli (now, sadly shuttered) just blew our minds. Creative to the point of “avant garde” as Adrià puts it, this food is not for everyone. And much of it seems less like food than science. But it is definitely art. And watching this documentary about the creation and coming to life of one of the last season’s menus of what many called “the greatest restaurant in the world” is completely engaging. The personalities alone in that kitchen are worth the trip. Our favorite quote from the film: Ferran Adrià to his sommelier – “Our problem is, there are a thousand combinations. At the moment, the taste doesn’t matter to us. That comes later. At the moment, what matters is whether something is magical, and whether it opens up a new path. And later, in the restaurant, the dishes are created. Constructed. Now it’s more research and there is more research with creativity.” Simply riveting.

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the artistry of Caroline Swift

photos: m&j

Not only have we been waiting two months for this package to arrive from Spain (sadly, another mishap with our beloved USPS), but when it finally arrived, it contained the most phenomenally gorgeously wrapped little parcels inside that we had to do a photo shoot before we even opened the packages. Caroline Swift, an amazing artist in Spain who works with porcelain makes every detail so incredibly special – even her embossed wrapping paper, stiff white twine and hand made porcelain hang tags are a delight to behold in person. And the super delicate, ghostly, white-on-white items within – all we can say is “wow.” We are huge fans and so lucky to be able to own and now shoot with some of her work. Many thanks for the inspiration, Caroline – you have definitely made it into our inner sanctum!

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a 26-year-old work of art

photos of journal: m&j, Illustration and all artwork: Marvin Davis

This gorgeous treasure of a journal from an Italy trip taken in November, 1985, belongs to our dear and fabulous foodie friends, Marvin and Cathie. We can only imagine what a grand adventure they took – in the Henry James style – one that allowed them to eat at all the finest restaurants that Rome, Venice, Tuscany and Milan had to offer, while still reserving the precious time to relax, sip wine, sketch and just do nothing and “be” the Italian way. Marvin, your drawings are beautiful and the two of you are our culinary adventure heroes!

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DGA screenings and talkbacks

© Columbia Pictures, 2011

© Columbia Pictures, 2011

We were lucky enough to see screenings of both “Moneyball” and “The Ides of March” this month at the DGA Theater, NYC – each with wonderful talkbacks that followed with the films’ respective directors (Mr. Miller and Mr. Clooney) not to mention some truly spectacular and awe-inspiring moderation, post-Moneyball screening, by the fabulous Mike Nichols!

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Wayne Thiebaud food paintings

images: © Wayne Thiebaud

We love these pre-pop era paintings from the 1950s and ‘60s depicting the kind of production line style food found in diners, bakeries and cafeterias. With his heavy use of pigment, sophisticated, exaggerated colors and well-defined shadows, Wayne Thiebaud’s work looks so modern, even today.

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The Man Who Ate New York

We recently honored M’s late father’s birthday by reading this delightful poem that celebrates food and the sensuality of eating in New York in a wonderfully fantastical way. Richard Elman wrote over 25 novels, memoirs and books of poetry with a skill, craft and wordsmanship that is truly worth looking up and checking out to this day. With much love – Happy Birthday, Dad!

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