Recently, an iconic Mark Rothko mural, Maroon on Black, was rather strangely defaced by a museum-goer at the Tate Modern in London. Inspired by the event, photographer Henry Hargreaves and chef/food stylist Caitlin Levin (whose previous collaboration, Deep Fried Gadgets, you may remember) created a new series, which they’ve dubbed Mark Rice-Ko — classic Rothko paintings reinterpreted in colored rice. The project, which we first spotted over at Feature Shoot, isn’t just a random recreation: Rothko’s Seagram Murals, of which Maroon on Black is one, have a specific connection to food.
As Hargreaves explains, “Rothko was commissioned to paint an installation for the new Four Seasons restaurant in New York. It was 1958 and the Four Seasons was to be the pinnacle of fine dining in New York. It was a bizarre commission for him to accept as he despised the excess, pretense, and crowd the restaurant was hoping to attract. Rothko claimed that he tried to create ‘something that will ruin the appetite of every son-of-a-bitch who ever eats in that room. If the restaurant would refuse to put up my murals, that would be the ultimate compliment. But they won’t. People can stand anything these days.'” Click through to check out the series, which we can guarantee won’t ruin your appetite for anything.
Image credit: Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin