FOOD AND ART: AN EXCELLENT UNION THANKS TO LAILA GOHAR’S CREATIONS
Text by Diletta Accorroni
During lockdown, it seems like we have all suddenly turned into Chefs and Maîtres of our own home-restaurants.
Innovative recipes and avant-garde experiments never tried before, all along with the preparation of traditional dishes, have been part of (almost) everybody’s routine.
Laila Gohar is well-known, with good reason all over the globe, for doing this impeccably, through a very creative approach, way before the quarantine period. Even in these trying times, the conceptual aesthete and food artist doesn’t stop her creative vein and has shared with her audience wonderful tricks and recipes to be executed through inexpensive and simple food.
Her Instagram page @lailacooks (counting more than 154k followers) is crawling with colourful ingredients from all over the Globe, which are a real inspiration for all those visionary people chasing original (and photogenic, of course) ideas. Her recipes, embodied in Instagram’s captions, are not unsympathetic, explained in details and written with lot of passion… you can tell it. Furthermore, most of her plates are so powerful that make us perceive, somehow, all those feelings and impressions linked to the countries where their roots lie. That might be the reason why, perhaps, in a period like this, where trips and getaways are extremely limited, her Instagram page is getting more and more consents.
In her personal website, Laila says that she considers food as “the most ancient carrier of culture” which “can be utilized as an ice breaker which allows people to come together and bond over an intimate moment in time.” Actually, she admits to have people for dinner in her wonderful apartment in New York, more than twice per week, every week. It comes as no surprise then, that food is not only her artistic medium, but also one of the best tool for her communication and integration purposes.
During the last years, in fact, Laila has built a reputation for herself, conceiving installations made of food for art, design and many fashion names, too; such as Simone Rocha, Comme des Garçons and Galeries Lafayette. It shouldn’t be easy to adapt the work, usually done inside proper kitchens, to environments way less welcoming than a restaurant. Especially if you consider that we are talking about real sculptures and huge installations.
Even if a lot depends on the clients’ needs, pastel colors, flowers and a sort of “decomposed symmetry” are definitely mandatory elements for Laila’s creations.
It looks like all her art refers to an idea of order and rationality, which is opposed to the chaos that reigns these days. It seems that the Egyptian artist constantly seeks the Cosmos – seen as a principle of order – opposed to Chaos. And doing so, she is even giving us advices, in the form of wonderful food creations, to get out of it.