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Patricia Niven, Rosewood London

These Delicate Tea Time Desserts Mirror Modern Art

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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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Ape Meets Girl
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Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
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Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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