|ASSORTED PIECES, BRONZE, MAXIMUM HEIGHT 10 INCHES|
By Devon Jackson
It was a chance encounter with surrealist master Salvador Dalí that led Don Reed to start making cast sculptures of vegetables. The year was 1970 and Reed was studying in France at the Sorbonne. Dalí, sitting in the backseat of a Rolls Royce convertible packed up to his waist in cauliflower (yes, cauliflower), was there to lecture on the mathematical perfection of said cruciferous plant. Dalí told Reed: “Make vegetable casts. Make them perfect and bright and realistic, and you’ll eat for the rest of your life.” “So I did,” laughs Reed, now 59.
Reed returned to the states, where he transitioned the family business, an industrial foundry started by his grandfather in 1911, into both an industrial and fine art foundry. River’s Edge Foundry, in Oregon, IL, is now known internationally for its expertly cast fruits and vegetables.
Hefty and devoid of a base, his pieces are playful and tactile. “We have a sense of humor about the whole thing. I like to say it’s kitchen art,” says Reed. “But I’m very serious about the importance of these pieces. People respond to them, I think, because they instinctually connect to this imagery.”
He is represented by Nedra Matteucci Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; Primavera Gallery, Ojai, CA.
Featured in “The Produce Aisle” portfolio in November 2008