It was the end of an era this month as the iconic downtown New York luxury hotel and restaurant, The Four Seasons, closed its doors for the final time on 16 July.
Whilst fans lamented the loss of the art deco interiors of a bygone era, as well as the home of the power lunch, artists Hargreaves and Levin have been hard at work creating a final ode to the history of the famous New York restaurant.
Paying homage to both art and food they draw on the restaurant's ill–fated liasion with Mark Rothko and the Seagram murals (the Four Seasons restaurant was housed in the Seagram Building in New York) that never arrived to adorn its walls, with Mark Rice-Ko.
The Four Seasons Art Work Scandal
The Four Seasons Restaurant first opened its doors in 1958, commissioning the American abstract impressionist Mark Rothko to paint a series of works for their most exclusive dining room. What the anti-establishment artist actually had in mind was to create "something that will ruin the appetite of every son-of-a-bitch who ever eats in that room" in protest at the "pretentious atmosphere" he observed. In a knee-jerk reaction the artist revoked the commission, returned the money and kept the series of murals for himself in what became the art work scandal of the era.
Hargreaves and Levin: Rice-Ko
Enter artists Hargreaves and Levin with their tongue in cheek homage to the collection of iconic paintings, in their meticulous tongue in cheek collection entitled: Rice-Ko. Made entirely out of coloured rice grains the talented pair have managed to re-create the famous murals, putting their own signature spin on each painting.
"Instead of recreating the original Seagram Murals, we opted to celebrate the glorious food and innovation", the artists explain. Each of the murals pays homage to the Four Seasons restaurant, acknowledging it as one of the first to introduce a seasonal menu, and even includes rice from the kitchen.
Head to their website for the full portfolio of rice prints.
Staff shortages are hitting the hospitality sector hard, prompting some restaurants to look outside the industry to train those without restaurant experience for life in the kitchen. Andrew Friedman finds out more.