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FOOD FOR THOUGHT is a series of 21 oil paintings in the guise of an “Illustrated Cookbook” a personal voyage through the different cultures of Europe using food as its lens. The way people prepare their food is perhaps the most immediate and direct expression of their culture — basic and elaborate, colorful and tactile, sensual and textured — it is, in short, everything that an artist craves when searching for a subject of interest. For me, the challenge of expressing this in paint was just too thrilling to pass up.

For instance, sauerkraut is commonly thought of as a Germanic dish, when in fact it was invented by the Mongols 2,300 years ago and imported into “Frankish” Europe via subsequent migrations. The culture of food predates any man made national borders. It evolves over generations within a specific region, to finally become an iconic expression of that locality’s identity.

These paintings seek to celebrate both the unity and the diversity of European food culture as it exists today. The ingredients used in these recipes are basically identical, yet the results are as different as the cultures that invented them.  FOOD FOR THOUGHT could be considered as an allegory of today’s Europe and its inspiring complexity.

Bruce Thurman  2017