Sustenance & Desire: A Food Lover’s Anthology of Sensuality and Humor, is a compilation of works that encompasses all things we love at Manhattan Fruitier; still life paintings & poetry and prose by well-known writers all explicitly detailing man’s sensual & humorous relationship with food.
Artist, anthologist, and long-time friend of Manhattan Fruitier, Bascove, recently let us in on the inside scoop on Sustenance & Desire: A Food Lover’s Anthology of Sensuality and Humor.
What was your inspiration behind Sustenance & Desire: A Food Lover’s Anthology Of Sensuality & Humor?
Still lifes have always been a genre I adore. Over the years I have painted dozens. It’s a joy to study and interpret a thoroughly delicious subject. I had already produced books on two of my passions; bridges and reading. Food seemed like a natural addition.
With all the available food literature by great writers, how did you go about selecting which authors & works to include?
I was familiar with the work of most of these writers. How could an anthology not include Proust’s glorious reveries from the taste of madeleines or Nabokov’s from hunting for mushrooms? Thinking about food, thinking deeply, brought about many issues; it’s necessity, of course, but could any other subject be so steeped in social, political, and spiritual components? I read through stacks of books of poetry and prose, it was like a treasure hunt. It began to take shape as a collection about food as love, as laughter, as need, as memory, and as the multitude connections between families, lovers, and friends.
Which specific piece in the anthology resonates with you the most?
Colette and M.F.K. Fisher’s sensual writings about food were the initial inspirations, a passage from Fisher begins the collection: “It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others”
Have you had any experiences where fresh fruit played a prominent role?
Yes. In Paris, in the fall, the markets have copious amounts of the most sublime fruit, most noticeably fresh figs. I had never experienced any taste quite as grand, I would go through bowlfuls of them.
My work was shown at a gallery in Paris for over 20 years. I would schedule my exhibitions for the fall so I could satisfy my addiction. My dear friend, and owner of the gallery, would often have a “demi-kilo” waiting at the little hotel where my husband and I would stay.
If you were an insect, what fruit would you want to pollinate?
Figs are infinitely appealing, but being claustrophobic I would never have the endurance of those implacable female fig wasps. Cherry pollination seems like a safer trade.
How many servings of fruit do you eat on an average day?
Three to four, but in summer that number can easily increase.
If you were limited to only one fruit forever, what would it be?
With Solo exhibitions at the Museum of the City of New York, the Arsenal in Central Park, the Municipal Art Society, the Hudson River Museum, the Noble Maritime Collection, NYU Fales Library, and The National Arts Club, Bascove has documented and celebrated the Bridges of New York City. She has worked with The New York, Brooklyn, and Roosevelt Island Historical Societies, and has lectured and arranged events with the Museum of the City of New York, the Central Park Conservancy, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Municipal Art Society, NYU Fales Library, and the Hudson River Museum. Three collections of her paintings have been published, accompanied by anthologies of related writings: Sustenance & Desire: A Food Lover‘s Anthology of Sensuality and Humor, Where Books Fall Open: A Reader’s Anthology of Wit and Passion, and Stone and Steel: Paintings and Writings Celebrating the Bridges of New York City. As a writer she has been a contributor to Arte Fuse, Stay Thirsty, The Three Tomatoes, and New York Arts Magazine. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, The Linda Lee Alter Collection of Art by Women, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Noble Maritime Collection, the Harry Ransom Collection, University of Texas at Austin, The New York Public Library, MTA Arts for Transit, The Library and National Archives, Canada, the Rachofsky Collection, the Norwalk Transit District, Time Warner, the Oresman Collection, The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, and Musée de Cherbourg.