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Bread is the Food of Love at Jennifer Rubell’s Art Basel Breakfast

Audrey Armitage
Jennifer Rubell's performance art piece "Devotion."


Jennifer Rubell celebrated love with bread and butter at her 13th annual Art Basel breakfast in Wynwood on Thursday. Each year, the artist and daughter of prominent art collectors  Don and Mera Rubell,  feeds guests with a new food-related performance art piece.

This year’s piece, called Devotion, celebrated the love and engagement of Jennifer Rubell’s friends Alban de Pury and Fanny Karst. It featured the couple surrounded by pyramids of bread, butter and sea salt.

Alban sliced the bread and Fanny buttered it. One by one, she silently gave slices to guests, who then added a pinch of sea salt from the pile.

Credit Audrey Armitage
Fanny Karst gives buttered bread to a guest.

  Rubell said she was inspired by Fanny’s routine of buttering bread each morning for Alban. “It’s a participatory performance that is a portrait of love,” she explained.  

Rubell described the thousands of slices of bread handed out over during two-hour breakfast as a symbol of future decades of Fanny and Alban’s love. By eating the bread, Rubell said,  the audience becomes a part of the piece and shares in the expression of love.

“The marriage that goes on for 50 years, like last year my parents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, the witnesses to that are very, very important,” Rubell added. “So the viewer becomes that kind of a witness here, but in quite compressed time.”

To celebrate their anniversary, Don and Mera Rubell served bites of cake to guests at last year’s breakfast. Now, Jennifer Rubell plans to continue with her love-themed work for the next year.

The breadline remained packed throughout the breakfast. If guests were confused, they warmed up to the idea once they heard Franny and Alban's story.

Fanny Karst and Alban De Pury in "Devotion."

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