Manna, no. 2/5, is a candlestick consisting of 7 different loaves of braided bread (challah) cast in aluminum and gilded with 23.75 carat gold in the series Sun – Wheat – Gold.

Kees de Goede is a well-known, multi-faceted contemporary Dutch artist who works in various media. The subjects dictate the technique and forms he chooses, and reflect his curiosity about what excites the world and his desire to show the magical nature of his discoveries along with the symbolism of the ordinary and the spiritual.

Fascinated by the shapes of the bread baked in the French village where he lives for part of the year, Kees has been making candlesticks and chandeliers inspired by them from 1998.

‘It is always a pleasure to go to a bakery in the morning and smell the freshly baked bread. If the baker also makes baguettes in the shape of a pain d’épi (wheat stalk bread), the same wheat needed to mill flour for baking bread, I find it delightful to be able to see in the final product what it was made from originally’.

The candlesticks are cast in aluminum and then gilded. This lends them the aura of the fields of wheat in France gleaming in the sunlight like pure gold. In this way the artist elevates our daily bread to the level of a sublime jewel, resonating with connotations of everyday life, which, however, can also be used for practical purposes!

‘I choose plain or rustic loaves. Their shapes arise from their preparation or purpose. Pain d’épi is made in such a way that it can easily be pulled apart. The shape of an incised loaf of white bread is due to the tin it is baked in and because the dough is incised. According to me, Challah is braided to facilitate breaking it into chunks. I pick out loaves of bread as I find them.

This raises questions about the consumption of art. Religious symbolism is also evident. The bread made of grain (resembling gold) is transformed into light, and the candlesticks are exhibited with lit candles. While the artist shies away from religion, he does aim to uplift and enlighten his audience.

Kees de Goede’s work is represented in various collections, including those of the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, as well as Museum De Pont in Tilburg, which is devoting an exhibition to him entitled Perpétuel that will run from 10 October 2015 to February 2016.

Photographer: Rob Versluys (©)

MakerKees de Goede
Price€ 10.000,- tot € 20.000,-
Pricerange€ 10,000.- to € 20,000.-
More information