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A Jeff and Alina Bliumis painting is hung above the couch after a family dinner
A Jeff and Alina Bliumis painting is hung above the couch after a family dinner

ARTIST COUPLE: WILL WORK FOR FOOD

Mar. 27, 2012

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Times may be tough for artists, but husband-and-wife duo Alina and Jeff Bliumis are literally working for food. During April and May, the Belarussian artists are seeking invitations to dinner in the homes of as many Bronx residents as possible. In exchange for the hospitality, the couple paints them a still-life of fruit that says, “Thank You for Your Dinner!”

Once the Bliumises arrive, “No agenda is set for their conversations and they are open to any discussion that might occur,” according to the press release. After dining, the painting is hung above the couch and the family seated to pose for a portrait. The canvas is for the family to keep, but the photograph heads to the exhibition-in-progress “A Painting for a Family Dinner” at the Bronx Museum, Apr. 4-June 4, 2012. The documentation is added to the show as the dinners happen.

“Through this exchange, the artists initiate an unlikely meeting point and a set of conversations, as well as eliminate the numerous steps separating the artist and the audience, artwork and its owner.” As for the time-honored practice of bohemians cadging meals, fans of Henry Miller will remember his scheme as a penniless writer in Paris, related in Tropic of Cancer (1934), where he would solicit an invitation to dinner at a different friend’s house each night of the week.

To invite the Bliumises to your house, email participate2012@gmail.com or call 917-701-0149.

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