The Death of Cooking
The Death of Cooking is another important work of art by William Balthazar Rose. The artwork could quite easily be called The Rise of Consumerism as it picks up on some of William's recurrent themes of Consumerism and East vs West.
The painting takes its initial inspiration from the 16th Century classic -- The Death of Socrates.
As always, William gives his own interpretation through the lens of the cook.
In this painting, we see two cooks, standing to the right of a cupcake. One of them is seemingly bowing to the cupcake.
We know from previous paintings that William considers the cupcake to embody consumerism. A ready-made packaged product. A product which encapsulates his time living in the USA.
In The Death of Cooking, the chefs are saying to the cupcake "you win". "We are great cooks, but consumerism wins... the customer/consumer would prefer an instant ready meal, rather than enjoy the food we cook for you. Fast food wins over slow food.
Note how the cooks have placed the cupcake on the floor in disgust. Good food should never be placed on the floor. But do the chefs consider the cupcake to be good food? It may as well be a packet of instant noodles which can be bought from a vending machine for $1.
Why is one cook pointing to the sky?
A similar pose can be seen in the original painting 'The Death of Socrates' and perhaps the chef is asking why God allowed this to happen. How did fast food and consumerism win over real cooking with real ingredients?
An interesting side to this painting is the Eastern looking man stood behind the two chefs. This possibly refers to the East vs West tension William often refers to. USA vs China.
In the painting, the Eastern man in the triangle straw hat represents China. He is watching on as the consumerism led by the US first defeats the talents of the chef.
The Eastern man is waiting... biding his time... waiting to take over from America as China seeks to become the dominant force in global consumerism.
The omnipresent 'big man' is there to make us think about the consequences of the tilt in trade from West to East.
The Death of Socrates by Jacques-Louis David.
The original inspiration behind the Death of Cooking.