Like the first notes of Beethoven’s symphonies, a celebration of life pours from the paintings plunging us into the kaleidoscope of flavors. The images of delicious and vivid food remind of the great Flemish artists and heat the imagination luring to share a meal. Even though the subject is simple, still-life painting is more than meets the eye.
Red is a color of action, aggression, and sexuality. In the “Still-life with a Swan” by Frans Snyders the white neck of a bird cutting the red background serves as an allegory of life, death, and resurrection. The red onion in the “Big Mac” by Syuzanna Kamara beats like a pulse of modern life while food is thought to be forbidden and desirable, being a reward and burden at the same time.
The sweetness of the chocolate and the savor of the berries in the painting called “Cake” are elusive. The giant pastry is impregnable and beautiful as a sacred idol. The juicy berries – the gifts of Amalthea – are filled with summer delight. So enjoy, but know that the flavor promises just a moment of joy. Don’t be drunk with life – suggests the amethyst background. The central message of the painting implies that delight is brief.
Another painting “Borsch” follows the same concept. A bright spot against dark background attracts the viewer dazzling with the richness of the color. A simple food as an allegory of home and moderation. Like the Lesser Dutchmen, Syuzanna Kamara is able to see beauty in simple things and mundane stories. The poetry of things is actual and timeless.
Seafood has been a frequent theme in the history of still-life: corpulent fish carcasses, big-eyed prawns, crabs with massive claws, and trembling oyster loins – the images of animal lust and voluptuousness. The story unfolding in the pictures of Syuzanna Kamara is very different. It is humbleness of pure lines. Playing with geometry and rhythm the artist implies on the delicacy of a simple dish and the pragmatism of modern world.
For a good mood
Oil on canvas, 100×100 cm.
Playful painting about a healthy lifestyle form the “Tasty” series. You are what you eat. Any food is nutrition for each cell of your body, your state depends on the food you eat. Choosing healthy food and right ingredients we form ourselves and our mood. Let fast food be on your wall, not in your stomach.
Drop off your diet
Oil on canvas, 100×100 cm
There’s no other genuine love than the love for food. The words of the great Federico Fellini describe this painting perfectly: “I was always aroused by the gorgeous scenery of a woman eating with an appetite. I was aroused sexually. I believe it’s natural: a woman who loves to eat loves sex. A woman who loves sex is someone who is very attractive and tempting for a man. Maybe, that’s the reason why I’m so interested in curvy women. A woman on a diet is rational about food and has to be moderate and restrained about everything. A woman enjoying the food will not pretend.”
Oil on canvas, 100×100 cm
The panels of polyptych “Tasty” composed of the depictions of Russian borsch and steamed salmon with vegetables appear as a remarkable grotesque, an odd mix of pop art jelly apples, ice-cream cones, sandwiches, Wayne Thiebaud’s cakes and faded drawings of green peas, mayonnaise, cheese, and Siberian pelmeni from the Soviet collection of recipes “The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food”. Meter-long plates of food grab our attention the same way as the colorful circles of Damien Hirst, his mechanically produced spin paintings. Like the works of Hirst and Warhol, a bowl of borsch at the restaurant (Kamara made the painting especially for the restaurant) also represent a mechanical item.
The same industrial and replicated recipe featuring ingredients accurately weighed to a fraction of an ounce. It seems not artistic at all. Or does chef the creator endow every dish with something unique so the guests would enjoy the old new taste every time they visit?
Surrounded by the black nothing the plates are floating like the planets in the deep space or the world ruled by Gargantua and Pantagruel. A mere borsch and a mere fish cooked over and over again are in fact one of a kind. As well as the diversity of life in our Universe.