Your Betrayal, Caked on the Wall
Painting desserts like it's murder, baby
By Wayne Alan Brenner,
11:07AM, Thu. Apr. 26, 2012
Good things, they say, come in threes.
Maybe you've seen some of Kaci Beeler's food porn paintings, like the Cuban Sandwich featured in the April 2011 issue of Saveur magazine.
Maybe you've eaten some of Jodi Elliott's desserts at Austin's rightfully acclaimed Foreign & Domestic.
Maybe you're familiar with wordsmith David Moses Fruchter, who's also known as Slappy Pinchbottom by listeners of his "Odd Preoccupation" show on KOOP Radio.
Now it's time for – as the late, lamented soapmonger Dr. Bronner might have put it – THREE IN ONE! THREE IN ONE! THREE IN ONE!
That's, ah, three-in-one – because one of the features of the Digestible Feats portion of this year's vast Fusebox Festival is called "Sweet Betrayal" and showcases Beeler painting (directly onto the SVT Gallery's east wall) a huge acrylic portrait of four desserts prepared by pastry chef Elliott from eerie magic-realist descriptions written by that Fruchter.
We mean, Beeler will be there, painting, for about twelve hours straight.
She'll start very early on Friday morning, working from photos of the desserts' prototypes, and she'll keep at it, brushing brushing, brushing, until the portraits are completed. You, lucky Austinite, are invited to visit the artist closer to the end of this pigment-frenzied marathon – starting at 6pm on Friday the 27th – and to partake of the actual desserts cooked by Jodi Elliott.
You might want to show up a bit early, because there's going to be a limited number of the desserts available, and because this event is totally free and open to the public.
(Yeah, we're a bit gobsmacked by that, too.)
The four types of dessert, Fruchter tells us, form a narrative of love betrayed and violence done. Each delectable is "a combination of sweetness and one of the other primary flavors: salt, sour, bitter, and umami."
Umami? That's the word that English recently borrowed from Japanese, right? It means, what, "a savory flavor"?
"Exactly right," says Fruchter. "And here, umami is the moment of murder."
Ah. Sounds pretty damn savory to us.
BONUS: The Sweet Betrayal painting area just happens to be – As if by chance! Like some plot-required coincidence in a Paul Auster novel! – surrounded by several of Beeler's other culinary portraits, as part of her one-woman "Food Porn" exhibition that opens at the SVT Gallery that night.