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How Cakes Can Help to Handle Your Art World Disaster
Forget Namaste. Baking is the perfect stress reliever.
Art Stuff 05 Oct 2021

Imagine the horror: it’s 4:30 on a Friday and an email form an artist lands in your inbox. She needs to push back the date of her solo show… the one opening next week. You can practically hear your plan to scoot out of the gallery early in time to make it to yoga with your squad—who, incidentally, you haven’t seen in more than a month even though you all live within a square kilometer of each other, but such is life—crashing to the ground and shattering.
Forget Namaste, imma stay right at this desk all evening, order a sad pizza for one and try to cobble together a together a plan that doesn’t get you, or the artist, for that matter, dumped by the gallery.
The art world, like any industry, comes with its fair share of everyday disasters. Whether it’s a careless fellow gallerina, a brutal boss, a flaky client or an artist just being a Gemini, you can’t always control the shit that comes flying your way. But instead of flying off the handle or silently praying for the art gods to put you out of your misery once and for all, we propose a better solution: bake it out.
Yep, you read that right. It’s the perfect stress reliever, and unlike boxing or calling your mom, you can actually eat the end result. Win win, am I right?
Without further ado, discover the perfect, easy baking recipes for your every possible art world disaster. I’m only half joking.

The disaster: Artist flakes, cancels show or falls behind schedule.

The old you would’ve fired off a semi-hysterical, passive-aggressive email reminding them that not only their career but countless others’ (ahem, yours) are on the line because of their irresponsibility. It might have gotten the point across, but you probably won’t be invited over for dinner—or gifted any work—ever again.
The new you takes a deep breath (and her hands off the keyboard), shuts her laptop and hightails it home for a therapeutic bake-a-thon.
The recipe: To get your mind off one flake, may I suggest another: coconut. These coconut cookies by the Minimalist Baker, a personal favorite, are vegan, cruelty free (because violence is never the answer, in art or in life) and no-bake, because you’re already fuming. They also take a grand total of ten minutes to whip up, so you can have some sweet, sweet sugar running through your veins in no time, calming your nerves and soothing your soul.
Not gonna lie, the coconuts also have a bit of a hidden agenda. Coconut is naturally sweet and has a cooling effect on the body (according to Ayurvedaaccording to Ayurveda, an ancient healing system originating in India), and can help bring you back to balance if you’re feeling mad, nervous, anxious or frustrated—like right now. And after you’ve had your cookie and eaten it too, you still have lots of time left to concoct a plan to save your ass—and the flaky artist’s.

The disaster: A careless handler drops the centerpiece statue while setting up for the biggest exhibition of the year, opening tomorrow, leaving you to find a replacement Renaissance Venus (god forbid) literally overnight. Even if the situation isn’t quite as dire—say, he “just” scratched the Koons—your panties are most definitely going to be in a major twist over this one.


The recipe: When there’s nothing you’d rather do than smash a certain someone in the face, we suggest smashing something else: bananas. Banana bread is super easy to make; all you really need is bananas and flour and the rest you can pretty much improvise, though if you’re a novice baker you might want to stick to the recipe. You definitely don’t need more disappointment in your life right now.
It’s also relatively healthy, especially if you chill on the sugar, and is pretty much guaranteed to take you back to your grandma’s kitchen, or your version of a totally stress-free space where your happiness is everyone’s number one priority. Unfortunately, the feeling doesn’t last when the last slice of banana bread is gone and you still have a Brancusi to replace, but now that you’re flying high on the magical power of bananas (which help lower anxiety—yes please), you’re totally up to the challenge. Anyone know if you can Amazon prime Greek antiques? Asking for a friend.

The disaster: The gallery dinner you’ve been planning for weeks is tomorrow, and only a third of the people have RSVP’d. You’re thiiiis close to hiring actors to pose as random art world people just to avoid all the awkward empty seats at the table.


The recipe: There’s nothing better for filling an empty hole, at a table, in your stomach or in your heart, than… drumroll, please… pie. True story: the first Thanksgiving I hosted after I went vegan, nobody even noticed there was no turkey. Hypnosis? Magic? Nope, pies. I had not one, not two, but five of them, and, crucially, I had them out on the counter during the first course so everyone could see what deliciousness was in store. Everyone was too busy drooling over the pies to notice or care if they were holding a drumstick or a carrot stick.

I’m not exactly suggesting that you fill your empty gallery dinner with pies—maybe as a last resort, and as a general life rule, throwing a pie on the menu never hurts—but whip one up while you brainstorm some last-minute invitees and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Since people tend to have really strong opinions on their pie preferences, here are some options: an apple galette for the seasoned chef a taste for the classic, a vegan, no corn syrup pecan pie for health nuts (pun intended), a 7-ingredient key lime pie for all the tarts out there, and an even easier, no-bake chocolate silk pie that looks so transcendent I’m about to drop everything and go make one right now. Bye.

Text by Katya Lopatko
Photos via The Minimalist Baker, @projectlifewellness, @kremno_elin

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