If you could have dinner with any artist, living or dead, who would it be? What would you eat? And what would you talk about? Please give as much detail as possible. Submit your written response.
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Dmitry Shostakovich, a Russian composer of the 20th century. I've had the chance to play quite a few of his pieces including Symphony 5, and the famous Quartet 8. He quickly became one of my favorite composers. Within his music lay tales of strife and sadness that never fails to upset me. I would love to have the chance to pick his brain about his life, and exactly where the inspiration for his tremendous pieces come from.
If I could have dinner with any artist, it would be Johnny Depp. I am a huge fan of the actor, and I find his work to be unique and full of element, quality, and meaning. We would eat at a nice French restaurant because he has lived in France for a significant amount of time, and his children are fluent in the language as well. There would definitelybe a lot to talk about his living experience in France and how he finds it different from the United States. In addition, I would discuss his personal journey and how he feels that he, as both an actor and a person, has changed over the years. I would ask him why he doesn't watch his own films, how he chooses the various films that he undertakes, and how he consciously or unconsciously brands his self-image in the Hollywood industry. I find him to be an actor with tremendous depth and caliber, and it would be an honor to share a few hours with someone who can allow me to learn and absorb from his experiences on a personal level.
Whether it is her articulate diction, heart-wrenching plots, or moral underpinnings, Jodi Picoult has touched millions of people worldwide with her page-turning, scintillating books. From her poignant story of a girl whose existence is based on helping her sister fight leukemia to the tragic, yet complex tale of a man on death-row whose dying wish is to donate his heart to the sister of one of his victims, Picoult has opened up a Pandora’s box and has asked the reader to put it back together. I always yearn to read Picoult’s next novel, providing me with another opportunity to examine the challenges we face as mankind. For these reasons I would choose Jodi Picoult as the artist I would take on a dinner date. We would sit in a restaurant eating delicious pasta while sipping on sweet champagne. We would discuss a whole wide range of topics–––from the details she puts into her novels to the moral bedrocks of life her stories expose. I would ask her as many questions as I could and by the end of the evening I’m sure I would look down at my plate and realize I hadn’t had a chance to begin eating my pasta.
If I could have dinner with any artist it would be Max Feguson, who is well known for his paintings of urban environemnts in New York that depict scenes that are disappearing as we move farther into the 21st century. One particular painting I like is of his father eating a deli sandwich alone with a Dr. Brown's soda entitle Man in Restaurant (2005). If I could have dinner with this man, I would ask him about the disappearnace of old fashioned deli in New York City, and what gaps that will leave in the NYC communitty. Also, we would speak about why that dissapearance occured, and how to preserve this and other peices of NY cultural history.
If given the opportunity to have dinner with any artist, it would most certainly be a hard decision, but I would have to choose Claude Monet. However, instead of dinner we would get together for breakfast. Ideally we would meet in the summer on a early morning at a small cafe in Argenteuil, Paris. Rather than a large meal, the only thing we would share other than a few croissants or pastries, would be several cups of coffee. Although I would hope to have flowing conversation, I imagine the morning to be filled with Monet trying to explain what 19th and 20th century life in Paris was like. Later, we would discuss some of the inspirations for many of his works as well as the theme of using modernization as a subject for experimentation in art. After many hours of conversation and explaining the day-to-day scene, he would take me around Paris and Argenteuil and show me some of his favorite places to hang out with friends, or to get away from the city to find leisure.
There are so many artists I'd love to have dinner with, like Leonardo da Vinci or Hieronymus Bosch, Daumier or Delacroix, Toulouse Lautrec or Salvador Dali, or Joseph Beuys or Ai Wei Wei. But the romantic in me would love to go back in time to late 19th century Paris and meet Cezanne in a warm cafe in the winter to talk about art, Paris, and modern life. Paris at the turn of the century was a hub of political, artistic, and technical modernization and Cezanne, at least in my mind, would have had a rather grounded, but insightful perspective on what was happening. I also imagine him as being one of the first "modern" artists and ushering in a new way to see and paint that would eventually lead to abstract expressionism and the leaps that were made in art during his life time by him and by his friends and contemporaries is fascinating to me.
As I mentioned, I would want it to be winter and snowing. We would be eating coq au vin and drinking read wine and eventually vin chaud for hours next to a fireplace in a little cafe in Montmartre. Friends like Degas or Gauguin would pass through and the whole place, though not big, would be humming with Parisians coming in, running into each other, and grabbing a warm drink or dinner at this cozy neighborhood cafe to escape from the snowy night.