Art Cooking PICASSO

Art Cooking PICASSO

Throughout history, food has served as a subject matter,
inspiration, and, of course, sustenance for artists. Food has also been the art
on a number of occasions. Today, we will cook our way
through the life and work of a hugely prolific artist,
about whom thousands of books have been written. His metamorphosis
through eclectic styles and notorious progression
through wives and lovers make him a challenging subject,
but he’s been in the intro for a while, so we’re going
to give it a try anyway. The story of Pablo Ruiz
Picasso begins in Spain where he was born in 1881 in the
southern port city of Malaga. He was named in the customary
Spanish way– the Ruiz from his father, a painter,
and Picasso from his mother. They moved around for his
dad’s jobs landing in Barcelona when Pablo was a teenager. So the ridiculous story
goes, at the age of 13, his father declared that his
son’s talent had outstripped his own, and so he
put down his brushes and never painted again. That didn’t happen, but Pablo
was an accomplished artist for his age and breezed
through and quickly got bored of his art schooling. Now, I’m not such an
amazing drafts person, but what I’m trying to draw
here is the neo-Gothic entrance to Els Quatre Gats
or the 4 Cats, the café in Barcelona where
Picasso had his first show in 1900 at the age of 18. In the cookbook you never
knew you needed, “Picasso, Bon Vivant,” you’ll find a much
better drawing of the café than ours as well as a recipe for the
hot wine flavored with cinnamon that Pablo and his artist
friends drank there. Sorry, we’re not going to
make these delicious-looking fritters, but we are going to
fry something so hang tight. To make what this book calls
sengri, a variant of the better known sangria,
we’re going to start with a bottle of red wine. I’m using a Spanish
Garnacha along with some cognac, cinnamon,
cloves, and Acacia honey. We’re also going to need
the zest of three oranges I have no clue why I got out for. But while I make zest
using my handy microplane, I’ll tell you that people
have been heating and spicing wine since at least
ancient Roman times. Wine would be heavily
watered down, heated, and mixed with herbs
and spices to mask the taste of the often
bad wine and also make their water safer to drink. The Spanish name originates
from the word for blood or sangre and, of course,
the red hue of the drink. Into a pot goes
your bottle of wine and a cinnamon stick
and three whole cloves. And you’re going to
bring it to a boil. When that happens, add the
zest, four tablespoons of honey, two tablespoons of cognac,
and a cup of water. Let it heat through
and set it aside until you’re ready to enjoy. Now, because I
spent a lot of time at the 4 Cats, which
was the gathering spot at the turn of the century
for the experimental artists and writers and intellectuals
of Barcelona, in Catalan, 4 Cats is a colloquialism
for just a few people. And those few people who were
the spiritual core of the place were artists Santiago Rusiñol,
Miguel Utrillo, Ramón Casas, and its proprietor, Pere Romeu. These guys published a
magazine and staged shows, wanting to ignite a Catalonian
Renaissance, all having spent time in Paris and
observing the modernism bubbling up there. It was here that Picasso
not only had his first show of unframed drawings
nailed to the wall, but found inspiration
and support, drew portraits of his friends
and the café’s bohemian clientele. He was also hired to
design some of their menus. They did serve
food at the 4 Cats, but what we’re going to make
next isn’t what Picasso would have eaten there,
but rather something he would have tried to sell. First we’re going to
heat a pan with oil. I’m using safflower, but
anything with the high smoke point will do. Now, Picasso had made friends
with artist Isidre Nonell, who shared with him his
technique for making antique-looking drawings to
peddle to customers on the hunt for a rare vintage find. Yes, I too thought that
this would be more dramatic, but there’s no liquid
in our paper that would cause bubbling and spitting. Anyway, Nonell
would fry drawings to achieve a kind of
old parchment effect, agitating the pan or the drawing
until it took on a sepia tint. When the edges of your
paper start to roll up, or when you just like
the look and your paper is too heavy for the edges
to curl, take it out and let it drain somewhere
while you bask in the glory of your
surprisingly successful experiment. We must remember that there
was a time before Picasso was Picasso, before he
had a name that carried great import, when he was
a promising and struggling young artist who surrounded
himself with friends and mentors, and who traveled
between the Spanish countryside and Barcelona and more
and more often to Paris, hungry for new environs
and experiences. And now our story
moves on to France, which is, you know,
actually connected to Spain, sort of like this. Pablo visited Paris
several times, trying to make a go of it and
landed pretty much for good in 1904 in the artist
enclave of Montmartre. He encountered impressionism
and the work of Degas and Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec
and the cabaret culture that reigned supreme. He had been making
paintings we now think of as belonging to his
Blue Period, gaunt, unfortunate figures suffering
from misfortune, and yes, rendered largely
in shades of blue. He scraped by during
his early Paris years but was surrounded by
supportive writers and artists. And as his fortunes
improved, his palate warmed. His figures became
less resigned– clowns and acrobats
and harlequins– people with a degree of agency. He started to have shows
and actually sell his work, attracting the attention
of the prominent brother and sister collectors
of modern art Leo and Gertrude Stein,
Americans living in Paris. Picasso painted
Gertrude’s portrait and was a frequent guest in
her home before and after she and her partner Alice
B. Toklas settled into the famous apartment where
they hosted a weekly salon. Picasso had become
a success, which brings us to our next course. Toklas published a cookbook
in 1954, most notable for its recipe for hashish
fudge given to her by her friend Brian Gysen. But it also includes a
recipe for a special dish she prepared for Picasso. Toklas writes, “One day, when
Picasso was to lunch with us, I decorated a fish in a way
that I thought would amuse him.” She explains how she made a
court bouillon to cook it in, which is a broth made
with dry white wine. I went ahead and
made this earlier using her description and
this more detailed recipe in “Picasso, Bon Vivant.” So our court bouillon
goes into a fish kettle– another thing you
never knew you needed– and we bring it to a simmer
while our whole striped bass waits in the wings. When it’s simmering, we
gently lower in the fish and let it cook for
about 20 minutes while we talk about Picasso
and his many styles. So far, we’ve mentioned
his Blue Period and then the Harlequin paintings
we call his Rose Period. But next in the progression came
something decidedly different, more of a radical break than
a shift in color or subject matter, and that was Cubism. Cezanne was an important
predecessor to the movement, breaking up his landscapes
into geometric volumes. But it was Picasso and
his buddy Georges Braque who really made it happen. They started
fracturing their images into divided planes
of light and dark, finding geometries in nature and
discarding linear perspective. They made still lifes
of everyday objects, not from one guy’s perspective,
but from all the perspectives. And they collaged
in other materials like newspaper as well. But Picasso never just did one
kind of thing for very long. And soon after, he was
on neoclassical pictures of fleshy women and surrealistic
images of contorted figures and the abstracted style
for which he is probably best known– the one-eye-here,
another-eye-there style that he riffed on
for a long time. But what’s hard to fully grasp
is how much work he made, and how much he vacillated
between not only styles but mediums, embracing
printmaking and exploring poetry and ceramics. He did all the things and
not in clean succession, but back and forth, unwilling
to commit to any one way. OK. So after 20 minutes, we lift
the fish from the kettle and put it aside
to drain and cool while we get our
decorations ready. First, we’ll need to peel
three hard-boiled eggs– you can feel free
to do this much more elegantly and cleanly than I– and then, separate the
yolks from the whites. Then you’ll press
them through a sieve so that you have these nice
little bits at the end. We’re also going to
finely chop some herbs. I’m using chives
and parsley here, but you can expand this
to include the more traditionally French mix
with tarragon and chervil. We also need to make a
tomato mayonnaise, which Toklas explains can be made
with ordinary mayo but not, and I quote,
“horror of horrors,” ketchup but with tomato paste. When our fish is
cooled, we carefully remove the skin from
one side and transfer it to a serving plate to chill
thoroughly in the fridge. Toklas tells us that
shortly before serving, she covered the fish
with the mayonnaise, and I’m using a
pastry bag here just to get it as even as possible. And then she made a design
alternating the egg whites, egg yolks, herbs, and
truffles, which I’ve made the executive
decision not to use. Toklas shared in
her cookbook, “I was proud of my chef
d’oeuvre when it was served and Picasso
exclaimed its beauty. But, he said,
should it not rather have been made in honor
of Matisse than of me?” Which is not the
nicest thing to say to a person who has
just painstakingly made a magnificent
fish artwork for you. But to be fair, I’m
not totally sure why she chose to make
a striped fish for him. He made plenty of artworks
in his life depicting seafood in some fashion
or another, and he was certainly known for
his taking of real things in the world and
abstracting them into simplified forms with
bold colors and outlines, but Matisse was the one who
had a clear thing for goldfish and was also a fixture in
the Stein-Toklas Salon. Stein introduced
Matisse and Picasso, who were known rivals and
friends throughout their lives. But anyway, in Stein’s
1939 book about Picasso, she wrote in her
syncopated style, “The thing that I
want to insist upon is that Picasso’s
gift is completely the gift of a painter
and a draftsmen. He is a man who always had
need of emptying himself, of completely emptying himself. It is necessary that he
should be greatly stimulated so that he could
be active enough to empty himself completely.” Which brings us to
the sausage problem. So when you read any account
of Picasso or his work, interwoven is
inevitably his biography and his turbulent
and often disturbing love and family life,
often told in chapters that align with his shifts
in style and approach. And it’s really distracting. Because even if you just want
to talk about this 1941 painting for what it is, you can’t do it
without addressing the sausage in the room. Yes this is blood sausage
I’m arranging and joining on the board with the other
elements of the still life Picasso painted while
holed up in his studio during the Nazi occupation
of Paris during World War II. These are not ingredients
of scarcity or want. Picasso was very well
off by this point. This is a tableau of plenty. Unlike many artists who
were enlisted in the fight or fled to safer places,
Picasso stayed put. And we can see this still
life as an expression of the in-between space he
existed in during a time when trauma was
unfolding all around him. The scene is lit with
harsh, interrogating light, sharp angles abound,
the wedge of cheese, the large chef’s knife, and
the pointed cutlery emerging from the drawer. The coil of blood
sausage has been compared to the
spilling of intestines, a reminder of the grotesque
and very close-by atrocities of war. Picasso reminds us
how effective objects can be in expressing emotion,
communicating his anxiety and dread with the everyday
foodstuffs around him. He had expressed his
political sympathies before in a much more overt
manner with his epic painting “Guernica” and also, “The Dream
and Lie of Franco,” as recently as 1937. Picasso once told a
biographer, “Look, even a saucepan can shout. Everything can shout.” We’re using that French
version of blood sausage called boudin noir. And yes, it’s made with
pork blood and snouts and all sorts of
delicious stuff. And while we’re
chopping and frying, we’re going to try to work
through our conflicted feelings about this talented man with a
proven capacity for empathy who was also pretty clearly a
misogynist and womanizer who left pain and
misery in his wake. He was a charismatic
man, described by those who knew and loved
him as lively, funny, magnetic, and powerful but also moody,
stubborn, sarcastic, sad, ill-tempered, and
sometimes cruel. His misogyny is not just
evidenced in such professions as the one he made to
Francoise Gilot when he was 61 and she was 21. “For me, there are only two
kinds of women,” he said, “goddesses and doormats.” But it can be seen
and felt in his work, too, most notably
his monumental 1907 painting “Les Demoiselles
d’Avignon,” a composition of prostitutes presenting
themselves to the viewer, faces modeled after
the abstracted forms of African and Iberian masks. We see in this and other
works his complex and often contradictory
feelings about women– an intermingling of desire
and fear and overtones of Stein’s evocation of a man
who must be greatly stimulated so that he could empty himself
and promptly move along. Sausage, anyone? Oof. Well, I feel better. We’re now going to breeze
through the last decades of Picasso’s life as we
work with some bread dough that I purchased from
our best local bakery, because no one wants to see my
bread fail to rise once again. In 1952, when Picasso
was living near Cannes on the Mediterranean
coast of France, the photographer Robert
Doisneau visited Picasso and took this picture. The bakers in his small town
made these hand-shaped breads with thick fingers and
called them Picassos. And Picasso himself thought
they were funny and playfully posed with them. Our first attempt has clearly
turned out ridiculously large, but let’s give it a bake
anyway and send it off to a 450-degree oven until
the bottom sounds hollow when knocked. Hm, not quite as
elegant as I’d hoped. Let’s try again. The bakers had been making these
special breads for a long time but renamed them after this man
of outsized reputation moved to town. Alas, here we see
Picasso’s fortune and also his misfortune. He continued to make a
tremendous volume of work even later in life, and
his fame and other’s fascination with him only grew. He moved to different houses,
bought magnificent chateaus, and ate well. He was a legend, whether
or not he wanted it. OK, these are much
better and much more suitable in scale to a
man who, while vigorous, was a rather small person. In 1960, Picasso revealed
to the photographer Brassai, “I live in seclusion,
like a prisoner. I would not wish my
celebrity on anyone, not even my worst enemies.” And he protected himself
largely by making art, focusing on it to an
almost maniacal degree at the expense of many
relationships in his life. And yes, these are
some bread hands. As we reflect upon
Picasso’s life, I can’t help but appreciate
his insatiable appetite, not for women, oh, no,
but for life and ideas and for making things. He once said he wanted
everyone to realize, above all, that an artist
works of necessity. That he, himself, is only
a trifling bit of the world and that no more
importance should be attached to him than
to plenty of other things that please us in the world,
though we can’t explain them. And this is a good enough place
to end our bumbling attempt to make sense of this
man and his work, whose impact on art history and
on our collective imagination we’ll be mulling over
far into the future. Nourish is a new PBS
Digital Studios series about the people,
culture, and science behind the delectable foods
of the American South. Nourish host Dr. Howard
Conyers is not only a barbecue pit master but
also a rocket engineer. And he shares with us,
the origins and traditions of foods like gumbo, grits,
biscuits, and barbecue sauce and the ingenious ways
they’re being prepared today. Think of it as food for
your mind, body, and soul. Subscribe to Nourish at the
link in the description below. Like our show? Subscribe. Really like our show? Support us by giving a
little each month on Patreon. Many thanks to all of
our patrons, especially our grand masters of
the arts Vincent Apa and Indianapolis Homes Realty. [MUSIC PLAYING]

100 thoughts on “Art Cooking PICASSO”

  1. As you were going through the different stages of picasso I heard Hannah Gatsby saying "CUbisM!" like she did in Nanette.

  2. Thank you for a very interesting, clever and entertaining video.
    Would you consider doing a piece on Frank Lloyd Wright and his influence on food? There was an article written a few years ago about his influence on farming.

  3. This is my favorite channel on youtube and your content is seriously doing so much and I adore it but it was odd to hear you use the word “prostitute” while talking about les demoisselles, that term is outdated and considered dehumanizing (or even a slur) to many people. The term used now is “sex worker” and if it is absolutely necessary to disclose the extent of what specifically they do (it usually is not) and they are physically having penetrative sex for money the term is “full service sex worker”. But again, fucking amazing series, can't get enough.

  4. I love food and how it intersects with artists lives i haven't missed a single episode yet, so of course i loved this video as well, since we get Picasso drilled into us since a very young age in Spain. I also wanted to point out a small mistake, the second painting you show that Picasso made when he was a child is not Dusk over the port of Malaga, it's actually a painting of Torre de Hercules, which is in Coruña (i recognised the scenery because its my hometown so i checked and it is actually that ). Also fun fact, did you know the current Spain Tourism is still the logo designed by Picasso?

  5. "notorious progression through wives and lovers" is a funny way to say "notorious pedophilia and systemic abuse of intimate partners"

  6. I was surprised how entertaining this video would be. Really the bumbling cooking efforts was just plain fun to watch. Now i'm off to binge watch the whole dang channel.

  7. I LOVE these videos!!! I am incorporating them in my High School Art classes as we study different artists from around the world and their culture each month. Any chance you could do Hokusai before November? 🙂 We're also covering Degas, DaVinci, Klimt and Prymanchenko this year…

  8. Really interesting, you used such an interesting mix of historic photos, shots of his work, cooking footage, and the more esoteric imagery, like the watercolors to depict periods.

  9. I KNOW this is sarah just being diplomatic and i do really appreciate that she mentions that he's not a good person every time she mentions him, but downplaying picasso's actual abuse of his partners and like, actual pedophillia doesn't sit too well with me

  10. Hey was wondering how that fish tasted?? Curious bc it looks pretty but wondering if those ingredients meshed well? Also: this series is my favorite thing

  11. I would prefer that you make this beautiful and amazing series of videos without using meat (because, you know, sometimes it sounds disgusting and unpleasant). :3

  12. This is the way one should approach the cultural importance of art and artist while clearly separating and announcing the maleficent actions of said artist. I find it important that these types of explanations are supported because it does laud the greatness of the work and talent while contextualizing the unfavorable character traits of the artists.

  13. 😭😭😭😭😭 this channel is so good that I don't deserve it… 😭😭😭😭😭👏👏👏👏👏😭😭😭😭

  14. Hold the microplane in your left hand and keep it fixed. Zest the orange with your right hand. It’s way easier and feels much more natural.

  15. I feel like this episode is good for not shying away from Picasso's problematic views towards women but, it notes them and then completely undemines them by continuing with the narrative of the 'great artist regsrdless' can't we just acknowledge people for what they were even if that means drawing attention to uncomfortable truths?

  16. I feel like non artists take his art for granted. As an artist, its hard to make your own style i feel like he embraced that. Always changing and evolving over time.

  17. "Well the girls would turn the color of the avocado, when he would drive down their street in his El Dorado"

  18. 12:27 Aww, that is one cute doggo! I knew that he had a dachsund, I just now know what the good boy looks like.

  19. I'm starting to get why yall don't like Picasson and I understand why lol he's kind of an asshole sksks

  20. Roman wine wasn't technically heavily watered down compared to modern wine because it was a much more concentrated wine than we have now so it's technically at least the same as modern wine, most likely still stronger though

  21. Great series!
    You have a nice voice for narration. I love your stove!
    I hope you don't mind a small "constructive criticism"? You do a great job with pronunciations, therefore, I want to point out this small thing.
    Court-bouillon pronounced
    cou(rhymes with you)•bee(obvious)•yawn(soft n)

    Where I am from (Biloxi, MS) we make a redfish court-bouillon that I would have happily served to Picasso!

    I love your series and I hope you continue to make these!
    God Bless!

  22. Was that a trout? French is good. I once went to a Picasso exposition in Bruges and I must say he is a complete artist. He could do it all. I don't like his modern paintings.

  23. Whole wheat or rye bread does not rise as high or as easily as white. The bran breaks up the gluten & makes the rise smaller.

  24. He was also a communist, even painting a portrait of Stalin, but they rejected it because it was far too abstract and made Stalin look like a woman.

  25. my great grandparents were neighbours with him back at antibes, and he loved loved loved to eat cherries and chat with them.

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