American Patrons of the Tate

For the second annual dinner for the American Patrons of Tate Modern, held in New York at Sant Ambroeus, Kreëmart decided to turn the dessert course into a floor show – bringing in artists Teresita Fernandez, Ghada Amer and Vik Muniz.

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Teresita Fernández was less interested in making a galvanizing statement than in coming up with something that had conceptual integrity in a frivolous medium. Although the only edible piece of architecture she could think of was the gingerbread house from “Hansel and Gretel,” she based her design on a more modernist structure — a house that the architect Gregory Ain built for a single woman in Los Angeles in the 1930’s. The plate glass windows were made from caramelized sugar, the black-and-white marble floors were created with almond paste and food coloring, and the dirt underneath was made out of brownie.

Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh collaborated in creating this cake that takes aim at both President Bush and Tony Blair. The heads, hands and feet of the leaders were made of hollow white chocolate. For the bodies, she chose two red-colored fillings: strawberry for Bush and raspberry for Blair, to suggest blood. After a performance piece, in which Amer thwacked at their heads with a hammer as Arabic music whirred in the background, the guests dug in.
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Vik Muniz’s art is portraiture as visual puzzle. For his piece, “More or Less a Strawberry Shortcake,” Muniz used a traditional strawberry shortcake that was quite tall with a chocolate filling, Frankenfood-size strawberries (engineered from marzipan) and a large slice already taken out of it. Muniz wanted the cake to serve as an overgrown folly, a cartoon cake to symbolize the sheer pleasure of eating it.

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