From Cassi Namoda, a Delectable Anchovy Toast

Food has long been intertwined with the artist’s practice, but a simple open-faced sandwich has been her favorite thing to make at her studio this summer.

By Mitchell Kuga

During a four-week residency at Casa Balandra, located in Marratxí about a half-hour drive outside of Palma, Majorca, this spring, Cassi Namoda would take long walks, picking oranges and green almonds along the way. “I might have been trespassing,” she admits. The New York-based artist, whose colorful paintings typically depict scenes of postcolonial Mozambique, where she was born, also found herself drawn to the traditional Spanish ceramic tiles that decorated the facades of nearby buildings and featured historical images and texts — and decided to paint some of her own. “I wanted to be honest to the landscape,” says Namoda, 32. So she acquired a few loose four-by-four-inch tiles from the man who operated the local kiln and, after glazing them with various configurations of conjoined fetuses connected at the neck, torso and belly, using four tiles per image, returned to have them fired. “I think the guy thought I was a little bit absurd,” she says with a laugh. To her, though, the works signaled a rebirth after a long year upended by Covid-19.

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