The studio stinks like raw sewage and hippies right now, and not because I had dreadlocked sanitation workers over for bong-hits and a drum circle. It stinks because I am ripening a small durian fruit and taking some photos of it. Upon entry, our cleaning lady looked horrified and gave me a sideways glance as she inhaled the nastiness, thinking that I was just a pig and being filthy since she last cleaned.
A quick google search of durian will bring up videos of people gagging at the stench and trying to come to grips with this “king of fruits”. This little thorny hand grenade originally comes from Southeast Asia and weighs between 1 and 2 kilos. Apparently the mass transit system in Singapore forbids durian on its buses along with handguns and flammable liquids. It is that bad.
I count myself amongst the lovers of Durian fruit. The soft white pudding-like flesh tastes like a rich almond custard with slight hints of flowers and peaches, and it is worth every bit of the hassle of obtaining and ripening one.
“It smelled like you’d buried somebody holding a big wheel of Stilton in his arms, then dug him up a few weeks later.” -Anthony Bourdain
I wanted the image to be a very classical still-life, low key and very painter-like. At first I had just the durian in the shot in all of its splendor, but it was too monochromatic. Fortunately I also had some mamón chino in the fridge as Genna and I are hopelessly addicted to the sweet and perfumed flesh of this spiky little red fruit. This addition of the mamón chino made the shot complete and added a bit of tension and color.
For the moment, the durian is outside in the car. I can’t take it anymore. I think that it will crack open tomorrow but tonight I need to be free of it.