In July, I was in LA to work on a site-specific wall installation at M-Rad Architecture's new office space in Culver City. M-Rad stands for Matthew Rosenberg Architecture + Design. For the record, Matthew Rosenberg is my brother, not my husband as LA weekly misstated in a nice article featuring a color-centric bench we collaborated on a couple of years ago. They were quick to make the correction.
My brother and I were raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and somehow both ended up working in creative fields in California. Over the years, I have visited LA frequently to see art and visit my brother. Not so long ago, my brother called to tell me they were moving their office from Downtown LA to this much larger space with big walls and that a lot of work needed to be done and that the big walls that needed something. I thought maybe he wanted some artwork to hang, but he offered me a wall, any wall. And so arrangements were made for me to come down for a couple of weeks to do a wall mural and then we would have a little party to launch the first M-Rad Salon Series. The party was the deadline to complete this site-specific color wall, but it was also an opportunity for snacks.
My favorite place to be is the beach. Then it's the paint aisle at Lowe's acquiring paint chips. And then, it's scouring random grocery spots for colorful snacks like I'm on a color safari... on the hunt for a particular purple pepper to compliment a bright orange cheese puff, or an oversized marshmallow to stick a pretzel stick in.
For the event at M-Rad, using one of their oversized mirrors that typically leans against a wall as a table top, I assembled what I ended up referring to as Snack City. I procured a selection of ingredients that could be stacked, shaped or stand upright to create an architectural landscape. Stacked cucumber rounds, pickles with their ends cut off stood upright, halved dates held almonds, popcorn dispersed at random like pedestrians meandering the streets, crackers piled precariously, goat cheese rolled in paprika, poppyseeds or finely chopped parsley held court like points on a map indicating landmarks. green grapes complimented red raspberries... and then there was sliced salami.
Guests didn't quite know what to make of it at first. Was it art? Were they meant to eat it? And if so, was there a certain way it was intended to be eaten. Wine was also served, so soon, guests gathered around the mirror and the snacks were slowly consumed... one cheese puff at a time. And new conversation was generated about what it is to eat art and how good an upright pickle can be as an interpretation of a building. At the end of the night, the city had vanished, but the color on the big wall in the new office that a week ago wasn't there, remained.
As it happened San Francisco-based Dough & Co. was in town and we were so excited to have them there serving their renowned chocolate chip cookies made with a genius chia seed mixture in lieu of eggs. Snack City was what guests turned to once the cookies were gone and what everyone was talking about the next day. You can find these dough-licious (sorry) cookies at various locations in SF + LA.
Thanks to M-Rad for the opportunity and the team for your help with rolling cheese balls and lessons on maneuvering a scissor lift. And to everyone for helping make the space feel more like a space, by coming to see the art and eat suspiciously served snacks.