16 January 2008

El Bulli

So, you're a creative person and you look out on the interwebs and you see so much superior talent. Should I be more innovative? Should I put the nose to the grindstone and shutup? How exactly do I aspire to the mastery I know that is inside me? How do I keep true to my own originality? Where do I find heroes to emulate?

I know I won't do a couple things on the interwebs as a creative person. One being: posing in front of my artwork with that ,"I'm looking into your soul and I'm master of it," look. You know the one. Good god! How many artists pose in front of their artwork with that elitist, sour, upward glance at you as if the fact that you are even looking at their photo mildly disgusts them. "I dare you not to like my work." They must be good... (don't look at my profile pic. Guilty as charged.)

Ok, so onto the blog subject at hand. I am not a master of haute couture, arts connoisseur, or a food gourmand. I have an opinion and my own taste. I can appreciate the movements, choices and concepts that try to put structure to the chaos of the creative world. I'm also a big fan of the cross contamination of artistic disciplines. For years I only friended musicians, because I received so much more from watching their process and feeding it into my own than I would a fellow painter who I might trip toes over. And, musicians have all the drugs. (I kid!)

Ferran Adrià Acosta, may.... may be the greatest living artist on the planet and he's a chef. I've done reductions, bisques, souffles, but jeez, my medieval alchemy is nothing compared to the high-tech culinary universe Ferran offers at his El Bulli restaurant. (Love the Helvetica) Despite my ignorance, it is voted the greatest restaurant in the world for 3 yrs running.

His art has been called, "molecular gastronomy," but he prefers, "reductionism." He's most known for offering merely a plate of foamy substance consisting of only taste. Using kryogenics, distillation, and a host of scientific processes, he collects only the essence of taste from foods. 50 lbs of white aparagaus may only create 2 cups of liquid that he whips and creams into a few dabs of fluff that reside on your plate. He is all about originality. Every dish is a unique gutsy experiment that is presented on a plate and photographed by an in-house photographer. Every dish photo goes into his books that garner a price rivaling high end art books. My check on ebay had these books at $200 or more. Well, you could spend $300 on a book or $400 and actually eat there if you reserve more than a year ahead of time.

Isn't there that joke about gourmet food and how the serving size gets smaller and the price gets bigger? So, how many courses do you expect for $400? 6? 10? Ohhh, no, not at Bulli. The average number of courses at El Bulli is 30! This person was kind enough to photograph all of his courses, despite the evil looks and sneers coming from nearby tables as his flash went off. Also, obviously a gourmand, had issues with the "fishy tasting seafood." :)

Interesting. A creative philosophy that matches unexpected tastes against unexpected tastes as a matter of experiment. My mind reels with the idea of doing the same thing in the visual realm. Textures, colors and depth. Delicious vision, delicious taste. It's a different way of looking at things but very patterntology. I must begin collecting!

No comments: