Daniel Spoerri (born March 27, 1930) is a prominent representative of the “new realism” movement of the XX-XXI centuries, one of the founders of the avant-garde publishing house MAT. Daniel Sperry’s work has received worldwide recognition for the series “Gastronomic Diary” – 25 large art objects, which are tables set on their side with scraps and unwashed dishes. He showed people the beauty and deep symbolism of simple everyday things, created a garden in Tuscany, placing dozens of absurd, grotesque art objects among green hills and olive groves, held dozens of successful solo exhibitions of paintings, sculptures and strange at first glance, objects that defy classification.
Daniel Spoerri biography
Daniel Spoerri, whose real name is Daniel Isaak Feinstein, was born on March 27, 1930 in the Romanian port city of Galati. Father is a Jew, mother is an emigrant from Switzerland. The boy spent the first 12 years of his life in Romania and, perhaps, would have stayed in it forever, but World War II abruptly changed the plans of many inhabitants of the planet.
Daniel Sperry had to urgently move to his mother’s relatives in Switzerland in 1942, after his father was arrested on the street by the Nazis, sent to a concentration camp and destroyed there. Here the young man was adopted by his uncle, the rector of the University of Zurich, and gave him his last name. In the first decades of his life, the future master did not plan to become an artist. For a long time he could not decide on a profession, tried himself as a photographer, was a salesman, studied to be a dancer and performed in the theater, wrote a book. Later, being a famous representative of the art world, he decided to go into the restaurant business – first he became a manager, and then opened his own network.
Daniel Spoerri was especially zealous for any occupation, and almost always succeeded in undertakings, thanks to the ability to see the beauty in life itself, in simple everyday life and in our familiar subjects. And his friends helped him to reveal his talent – in 1959 in Paris he met the sculptor Jean Tinguely, the artists Arman and Yves Klein. Together they founded the New Realism movement.
Series of pieces with food leftovers
The famous series of works with food leftovers was created in an interesting way – the master invited celebrities to take part in a meal in an art gallery. At some point, the feast was interrupted and the arrangement of objects on the table remained unchanged … for many years. The tablecloth and plates were glued to the surface, the leftovers were varnished and also attached to the table top, the legs were filed, the whole structure was turned on its side and hung on the wall, covered with a screen.
Daniel Sperry called it “fake paintings”, implying that he himself does not create anything new, as is the case in “ordinary” art, but only stops time, fixes the existing state of affairs, emphasizing their natural beauty. But Sperry isn’t all about food. The author has hundreds of other works. Particularly interesting is Giardino di Daniel Spoerri, a landscape park in Italy, where bizarre metal sculptures are located in the green of the hills. Fresh flowers are combined with straight lines of buildings, olive branches descend to a huge, several human height, metal mask, labyrinths laid out of stones are located on the ground.
In search of inspiration, the artist moved several times – he lived in Germany, Italy, on a Greek island, since 2007 he settled in Vienna and lives in the capital of Austria at the present time.
The most famous paintings and sculptures by Daniel Sperry
Installations, paintings and sculptures by Daniel Sperry surprise, impress, shock, delight or, conversely, misunderstand, but few leave anyone indifferent. His works are life itself, as if frozen for seconds to show us its beauty, and ready to come to life again at any moment:
- Kichka’s Breakfast (1960) – one of the many art objects with food leftovers. This is the author’s girlfriend’s real breakfast. The composition is attached to the wall and defies both the rules of gravity and the “look we are used to”, as the artist says.
- Sculpture from the Eat Art series, date and name unknown – is it lunch or dinner? Romantic date or family get-together? On the table are tea cups, wine and, as if specially collected sloppily, a bouquet.
- Kinderstuben Fallenbild (2014) – a mix of white and blue objects, large and small objects, flowers and cutlery. Everything looks very organic together.
- Jede legt noch schnell ein Ei … (2015) – a work called “Everyone quickly lays an egg” as if again raises one of the most popular questions of mankind. So which came before, chicken or …?
- Giardino di Daniel Spoerri is a garden in Tuscany, opened in 1990.