Undeniably, pastry and baking live at the intersection of Science and Art. Often we forget that baking and making pastries is hard science, before an art. Without the scientific process that creates the pastry in and of itself, there would be nothing to express on. That is why the greatest sweet masterpieces require the finese of both worlds. And occasionally, we are able to see this intersection through various forms of artistic expression through different medians, other than in the form of a pastry. Recently, we were able to observe this intersection in a new light while on a trip to the local art musuem.
Background on the Pie Painting
This painting from 1961 which was created by Wayne Thiebaud, an American artist who was born in 1920, is titled Pies, Pies, Pies and is currently displayed at the Crocker Art Musuem in Sacramento. It was born out of the Pop Art movement, which saw the emergence of several still life paintings involving food products, such as soup cans. Fascinatingly, the piens in Thiebaud’s painting look just as good as the real deal. One could imagine putting through arm through the painting to reach out and grab a slice. Clearly, this painting captures the essence of the confectioners delight we have when seeing or eating a slice of delecious pie. If you ever are in Sacramento, we highly reccomend you stop in the Crocker Art Musuem to oberve this great work of art.
Pastry is a Science and an Art
According to Mariam-Webster, chemistry is defined as “a science that deals with the composition, structure, and properties of substances and with the transformations that they undergo.” No doubt, because pastry and baking requires understanding how different chemichals react to each other, and how they transform under certain elements such as heat, pastry is primarily a hard science. In order for a pastry to take the form that we expect, and to taste the same, this process must be precise. As to the aesthetics of pastry, however, requires the nuanced touch of an artist. Because pastry lives at this intersection, is what might make it so fascinating.
Sometimes we can learn from viewing things in a new light. And this painting surely puts things in a new light. This painting captures the universality amongs different disciplines such as painting and pastry, that tie them all together. This is inspiring because that means, a baker can become an artist, and an artist a baker, or a pastry chef can become a scientist, and a chemist can become a chef. There is no reason to limit ourselves in this world, and this painting depcits how those limitations are just figments of our imagination. Pies and artistic expression leave a lot to think about.