Barbecue and the Fine Arts

This post, written at Nancy’s suggestion, has been sitting around for a while.  I am inspired finally to send it forth by a Barbecue Bros post on a song inspired by barbecue: Too Much Pork for Just One Fork.  It is, of course, the work of the band Southern Culture on the Skids.  I’ll keep checking their tour dates for a performance around here.

Making barbecue is, of course, an Art.  It normally is not included among the Fine Arts, however, due to cultural prejudice and to the practical difficulties of theater performance.  The Fine Arts traditionally are thought of as visual arts, whereas the visual element of barbecue is unimportant except as it offers clues to flavor.  For example, the sight of a smothering layer of thick sauce on another diner’s plate lets you know that you should turn around and leave without ordering.

Barbecue does, however, figure in the Fine Arts as a source of inspiration.  I’ve selected two outstanding short videos, one of an exceptional musical work, and the other illustrating innovative painting techniques.  Both are, as I say, short and well worth watching

As I mentioned, Nancy has urged me to post this drawing for a square for one her quilts and, several months having passed, I’ve finally gotten around to it.  Nancy  had asked that I draw something deeply personal and introspective for this particular quilt, and you can see the result:

quilt pig

Moving, isn’t it.

The original drawing is for sale to the highest bidder.  The sale price must, however, exceed the cost of shipping.

As you can see, the piece was done in my Line Art period, which has lasted for close to seven decades now.  I did some of my best work during class while I was in high school, college, and law school, but my productivity soared and my oeuvre blossomed during interagency meetings while I was in government.  The constant drone of meaningless conversation was my Muse.

This Blog tends not to involve a lot of Fine Arts commentary, although it does pops up, mainly in Europe, as in this post on Le Minipalais (you could just scroll down to the addendum, but then you’d miss the duck confit and potatoes Salardaise).   Although I got an A in a very popular college Art History course, like everyone else in the class, my only real area of expertise in the arts involves the interpretation of very avant garde works — things like the banana taped to a wall.  When you are faced with a modern work and someone asks something like, “What does it mean?” and you were wondering the same thing yourself, a good answer is always, “It depicts man’s inhumanity to man.”  (It’s important to keep a straight face for a good five minutes after saying this, so avoid looking directly at anyone.)  Try it next time you get cornered.


And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive Blog posts in your email box.  Or bookmark us and check in from time to time.  If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, usually close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event).  Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome.  And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.



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