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Patricia Niven, Rosewood London
Patricia Niven, Rosewood London

These Delicate Tea Time Desserts Mirror Modern Art

Patricia Niven, Rosewood London
Patricia Niven, Rosewood London

If you've ever wondered what one of Alexander Calder's mobiles might taste like, you now have a chance to find out. Rosewood London just launched a new permanent project called "Art Afternoon Tea." This tea time, which is being held in the hotel's fine dining restaurant, Mirror Room, features delicate pastries based off the works of five notable artists. Patrons can nibble on sweets inspired by Calder, Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama, Mark Rothko, and even Banksy. While we're not entirely sure an elaborate tea-time pastry fits in with Banksy's brand, each dessert attempts to capture the essence of each artist's work.

“I was inspired by the prominent art scene in London and by the captivating contemporary and traditional art pieces that are featured throughout Rosewood London,” the hotel's executive pastry chef Mark Perkins told Condé Nast Traveler. “The idea really progressed from there and great consideration went into deciding upon which art genres and movements we wanted to focus on. I settled on modern art, as it offers many interesting shapes, colors, and designs.”

Art Afternoon Tea starts like any traditional midday meal, with scones and tiny finger sandwiches—but the desserts at the end are truly one of a kind. The line-up starts with a play on Banksy's Girl With a Balloon and consists of a white chocolate cube filled with vanilla cream croux, salted caramel, and chocolate cremeux. On the outside, a tiny sugary illustration of the iconic girl looks as if Banksy spray painted it himself.

Calder's famous mobiles are recreated with pistachio bavarios, cherry jelly, pistachio sponge sprayed with red chocolate, and chocolate flourishes that remain suspended on top of the bright cone structure. Cassis jelly, yuzu curd on a white chocolate tart come with pastel polka dots that mirror the famous work of Hirst. Kusama's recent mirrored installation at London's Victoria Miro galleries can be seen in the form of a chocolate sable biscuit and chocolate crispy water, with milk chocolate mousse and passion fruit cremeux, covered in a bright yellow glaze. A layered coconut and raspberry sponge cake filled with coconut mousse and fresh raspberries, then wedged between two thin slabs of chocolate, echoes Rothko's work with color blocks and lines.

Diners can enjoy these colorful desserts while surrounded by 3D artwork by Simon Bingle and Beat of a Wing by Bran Symondson. To experience this edible museum visit for yourself, you can make a reservation with the restaurant for $57 per person.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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