The Heritage Studio

The Marvelous Sugar Baby: the magnificent sugar sphinx confected by artist Kara Walker


The story of  ‘A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby’ at the Domino Plantkara_walker8

Settings: The Domino Plant, former sugar compound, Brooklyn, from May 10 until July 6 2014

Leading character:  New York based artist Kara Walker is known internationally for her provocative work which, presented in the numerous forms of art (drawing, painting, video , performances), recalls historic moments, often addressing highly charged themes such as power , repression, race history and sexuality, and has frequently been the subject of controversy. 

Plot:  Sugar Baby is a 35 feet tall, sugarcoated woman-sphinx with undeniably black features that majestically lays in the back of Brooklyn Domino Sugar Factory. Built in the late 19th century, the plant was once used for storing raw sugar cane as it arrived from the Caribbean for refinement and packaging. The full title of the opera “A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Plant”  historically refers to those subtleties, sugar sculptures made for the rich as edible table-decorations, that were once a luxury and became more widely available due in large part to slave labor. The conceptual work is certainly in keeping with the artist’s career-long investigation of the historical wages of slavery and racism. Commissioned by Creative Time in anticipation of the imminent demolition of the Domino Plant, Sugar Baby is Kara’s first large-scale public project.






Source: The New York Times 

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