My clever friend Amanda Eliasch is at it again! This time she enlisted help from equally, creative, and wickedly fun art patron, Kay Saatchi.
Gallerist, Jonathan Brown will present “Peccadilloes””, showcasing Amanda’s new neon works based on Kay’s cartoon drawings of her. Amanda has humorously lent herself as an example of the declining trajectory of modern morals.
One approach to art is to take something measurable and make it immeasurable through the prism of one’s imagination. Amanda Eliasch has flipped this notion and taken something immeasurable and made it measurable. She is using neon, a noble gas, as her material. Though common in the universe, it is quite rare on earth. Her subject, sin, is again a flip – common on earth, but supposedly clarified once reaching the heavens.
Being no stranger to the art world, Amanda has shown her visceral, dramatic black and white prints in galleries across London. She has published three books, most notably Assouline’s “British Artists at Work”, a collaboration with Italian Vogue Editor Franca Sozzani (many of you will know from America’s Next Top Model). Her latest book entitled “The Sins of a Butterfly” will launch this year. Amanda extends her talents to playwriting, and her first work “As I Like It”, will run for two weeks in July 2011 at the Chelsea Theatre in London.
In his innovative gallery, Brown will reveal Amanda’s tongue-in-cheek, but charmingly honest neon artworks, which highlight the many facets of the Mortal Sins: Wrath, Envy, Sloth, Greed, Lust, Pride, and Gluttony.
These works are crafted using neon techniques, reflecting Hollywood’s culture of neon – hamburger joints, no vacancy signs, and striptease dens. They are vital, powerful, and compelling in that they tell a story that stretches from darkness to the light.
Amanda is using the pure intention of neon to both expose and reveal what neon aims to express. Much like Tracy Emin or Cindy Sherman, in multiple layers of symbolism, she places herself as the subject of this intention; to humor, to question and to confound.
She admits to being a sinner, while at the same time, stating wittily that her sins are just peccadilloes. The result is a reaction to reality that is true, feminine, and astonishingly candid. BTW, Amanda, I do believe gluttony should live on my wall. Here’s the cupcake recipe from your birthday last year to prove it! What is your favorite of the seven deadly sins?
ROSE & PINK GRAPEFRUIT ANGEL FOOD CUPCAKES
Servings:12 regular cupcakes/24 mini cupcakes
For the cupcakes
1/2 cup cake ﬂour
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup egg white, approx. 6 eggs, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon rose extract
2 teaspoons pink grapefruit zest, grated
For the icing
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon low fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon low fat 1% milk
2 tablespoons pink grapefruit juice
edible flowers, to garnish
1). Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with cupcake wrappers.
2). Sift together ﬂour and powdered sugar (I repeat this several times to make sure it is well incorporated) in a medium bowl.
3). Beat egg whites with salt with a mixer on high speed until frothy, 1-2 minutes. Add cream of tartar and mix until soft peaks form. Add sugar a little at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.
4). Sprinkle a little ﬂour mixture in at a time, and fold gently. Fold in rose extract and zest. Using an ice cream scoop to get even cupcakes, ﬁll the 12 cupcakes. Bake for 20 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden brown. Remove and let cool completely on a rack
5). When cupcakes are cool (you will need to frost cupcakes as soon as icing is ready), beat the butter for 5 minutes. A little at a time, add the powdered sugar, scarping down the sides with a spatula as necessary. Add cream cheese, milk, and lemon juice. Adjust ﬂavor and consistency to taste by adding more milk, pink grapefruit juice, or powdered sugar if desired. Spread icing onto each cupcake and use edible pansies to decorate.
These cupcakes are a showstopper every time, especially when served with edible pansies on top. The perfect spring and summertime birthday cupcake.
Store in a covered, airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days, or frozen for up to three months. Remove from refrigerator thirty minutes to an hour before serving, so the icing softens back up at room temperature again. Avoid leaving in direct sunlight or extremely hot room, or the icing will melt.
Rose extract can be found in restaurant supply stores, specialty stores, or ordered online. If you can’t find rose extract, use vanilla extract instead.
“Peccadilloes” will open at the Leadapron Gallery on Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 6.00 to 9.00pm. The Leadapron Gallery focuses on fine art, rare books, and photography for exhibit and sale. Located at 8445 Melrose Place, Los Angeles, CA 90069.