Bite-sized art and inclusion

18.02.2020
The project 'Bite-sized Art' came to an end with a dinner at the Royal Theatre, where paintings by ArteDown artists were exhibited and auctioned after different dishes were served up by chefs Mario Sandoval, Paco Roncero, Ramón Freixa, and Martín Berasategui.
Artistas del proyecto ‘Bocados de arte’ junto al cocinero Ramón Freixa

The Madrid Down Syndrome Foundation (Down Madrid), in collaboration with the Repsol Foundation, celebrated the dinner 'Bite-sized Art', a charity event that brought this project to a close in which 12 artists with intellectual disabilities encapsulated the sensations and feelings felt from eating the dishes served up by the combined 18 Michelin Stars and 18 Repsol Suns of Mario Sandoval, Paco Roncero, Ramón Freixa, and Martín Berasategui.

This project began in February 2019, when the artists tasted the chefs' dishes in their respective Madrid restaurants, discovering the different presentations of the various culinary dishes. After the tasting was over, the Down Madrid artists wrote down what they thought of the presentation of the dishes, the smell, the sound when they ate it, what the dish reminded them of, how they felt when tasting it, and what name they would give it if they had cooked it themselves. With this information, they began a process of reflection, turning their notes on the dishes into art, until they finally managed to capture everything that the innovative tastings evoked on the canvases.

After more than a year since they first tasted the chefs' dishes, the artists created their paintings from the flavours, colours, presentations, and sensations. The project, supported by the Repsol Foundation and the Ibero-American Gastronomy Agency (AIBG), drew to a close with a cocktail and dinner held at the Royal Theatre on 17 February. During dinner, where the dishes were prepared by the chefs participating in the project, the attendees observed all the paintings and bid for them in the solidarity auction.

The dinner was attended by Freixa and Sandoval; the director of the Repsol Foundation's Social Action and Volunteering Area, Lola Zamarra; the president of the AIBG, Rafael Ansón; the president of the Down Madrid Board of Trustees, Ignacio Egea, and the 12 Down Madrid artists who participated in the project.

For Lola Zamarra, collaborating on this initiative “has been very satisfying and has allowed us to achieve one of the organisation's objectives, which is to contribute to social development — in this case, to contribute to the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities”. "Culture and art are excellent springboards to draw attention to these artist's abilities, and we must not forget that culture is everyone's right", she said.

Irene and Emilio were responsible for representing all ArteDown artists: "We want to thank people like you, who value us as true artists and make us believe that we are getting closer and closer to achieving a more equal and just society for all", said Irene. While Emilio stressed that “there are many artists out there today and if it is already difficult for them to find their place in the world of popular culture, it is even more so if they have intellectual disabilities like us, so putting on an exhibition here is a dream come true and I hope it becomes commonplace”.