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We are told this in the introduction to his cookbook, Les Diners de Gala, a collection of recipes unlike any other. His love of food continued throughout his life, and he liked to throw extravagant dinners, where the weirdness of the food matched the crazy, beautiful, messed-up paintings the artist created. I was only able find a record of one of these meals: He served live frogs to Bob Hope , and gave him fish in a stiletto heel, while his wife Gala fed Babou, his Ocelot, something resembling vodka.
While there are no live frogs in Les Diners de Gala there is a very dead frog on the front cover and frog pasties later in the text the book throbs with deliberate oddity. I attempted a dinner party following some of the recipes in Les Diners de Gala , recently reissued by Taschen.
As a child, he pushed a friend off a bridge with a five-meter drop, then sat calmly eating cherries. As an adult he spoke about this, alongside his obsession with throwing himself downstairs. It is like his paintings, a sort of art performance. It is truth, but it is a special surrealist truth.
It was a joke, but not a joke, you know? She is a phony. She believes all this crap she believes. On a visit to Britain he visited a diving shop to be fitted for a suit, and when asked by the shopkeeper where he intended to dive, he told the man he wished for a suit to allow him to delve into the depths of the human subconscious , bringing a troll-like literalness to the theories of Freud and Jung.
So was he a charlatan, a mad man, or in the words of Joe Bell, a real phony? In explaining the presentation of one dish he makes a passing aesthetic reference to a fifteenth-century child-murderer:. Even as a joke, or deliberate provocation, there is something frightening about this casual reference to infanticide.