Friday, October 10, 2014

Marcus Samuelsson Celebrates Kehinde Wiley with Dinner

A print of Venus at Paphos
Palettes were pleased as art and the appreciation of international flavors were fused to honor Kehinde Wiley in an intimate dinner attended by friends, supporters and appreciators of the painter’s revolutionary artwork.

Marcus Samuelsson, renown Chef and owner of Red Rooster, hosted the 12 Season(ing)s Dinner with Kehinde Wiley last Wednesday, Oct. 8th in Harlem at Ginny’s Supper Club to celebrate his return to New York and latest travels. 

The evening was an opportunity for guests to share in the artist’s journey with a nine-course menu selectively crafted by Samuelsson, which touched upon the varying nations Wiley developed his work in.

“You also always connect pop culture, hip hop, with these incredible, gorgeous beautiful images of black men and you send those images to the rest of the world,” said Samuelsson to Wiley.

Each plate was themed to represent the blend of flavors from varying regions with the finest attention to detail and ingredients. From the start of the evening guests were presented “the Board,” an array of small bites including deviled quail eggs, pickled grapes and miso marinated beef heart. 

Hamachi with oxtail stew and pickled chanterelles
Other dishes from the special menu included a Foie Gras Ganache, served with jerk duck breast, thai basil and banana paired with dewatsuru “sakura enaki” a rose sake from Japan, and another course featured Endive served with, bailey hazen blue, pear, hazelnut sherry paired with a “rainwater” madeira from Portugal.

Wiley, an American painter and Russian art student, spent much of his time journeying to Haiti, France, Nigeria, Israel and Brazil, among other countries in search of portraying life as he sees is and capturing its essence.

Known for his regal paintings featuring black individuals from around the globe in poised and dignified poses, he evokes a vivid image of raw beauty and elegance in each of his pieces. His work is influenced by 17th and 18th century classical art but focuses on very much on the present and the paradigms existing within society today.

The painter, amongst friends and supporters
“There is a difference between what you see on television, media, and what happens when you’re walking through the world in this black body,” he said, “the truth of your life, the truth that you know, and the truth that you’re being spooned, and the truth that you increasingly see being down to other regions of the world.”

Christine Miller, an appreciator of his work and local Queens resident, was enthused at the opportunity to pose a question to her favorite painter and hear his words.

“It’s an honor to be here,” Miller said, as she enjoyed the dining and intimate conversations. As textile designer, the quality of his work always made a deep impression on her so upon hearing of the event she knew she was going to attend.

“It’s about meeting with young people of goodwill and figuring out what their stories are,” Wiley said when discussing the meaning behind his concepts, “allowing that to be something that we can all recognize in fine art.”
Goat cheese parfait with mango curd and blueberry sorbet

A small booklet was presented to each guest titled “Apple.” It included 6 recipes centered around the seasonal fruit, Robert Frost’s After Apple-Picking and a small print of Wiley’s Venus at Paphos.

The evening also coincided with news from the Brooklyn Museum of his upcoming Feb. 2015 exhibition that will showcase his latest series, A New Republic

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