Kara Walker’s Gigantic Sugar-Coated Female Sphinx Makes A Powerful Statement

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Kara Walker’s new sculpture “A Subtlety” is pure white, coated in 160,000 pounds of bleached sugar; with this modern take on the ancient sphinx, the legendary artist crafts a towering black face in honor of the slave laborers who worked in sugar cane fields. The powerful work is meant to address racial and sexual exploitation; like the sugar that coats her polystyrene core, this black female figure has been pressured, against nature, into succumbing to whiteness.

The work is now on display at the old Williamsburg, Brooklyn Domino sugar factory shed, where it reaches to the ceiling and extends for a magnificent 75 feet. The mythical creature is a powerful assertion of the black female self; the face quite resembles the artists’ own, and a carefully wrought bandana subtly references the stereotypical (and often offensive) symbol of the mammy, a slave woman who nurtured and brought up white children. Walker has been the subject of debate in the past for her use of contested imagery, and despite the controversy surrounding the “mammy” figure, she is presented here as powerful and divine.

Like the ancient sphinxes of Egypt and Greece, Walker’s monolithic creation is godly, simultaneously fearsome and comforting. The sphinx, known for protecting the tombs of royalty, becomes the guardian of history, interrupting a white-washed historical narrative to make visible the labor of the men and women who were kept enslaved. Her face is serene, assured, and unyielding. The sphinx character, in addition to being a protector, is also dangerous, renowned for devouring those who cannot answer her riddle; Walker’s sphinx is similarly confrontational in her overwhelming size, forcing viewers to confront the complex and painful history of American industry. (via The New York Times)
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Joseph Marr’s Life-Size Sensual Sugar Sculptures

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Australian artist Joseph Marr creates remarkable human-sized sculptures that are made out of sugar. The translucent candy-like texture gives the naked bodies a sensual feel and its color and whimsical appeal.  Marr colors the sculptures with ingredients like cola and raspberry fruit; don’t try eating them, though—most are protected by a layer of polyurethane.

Marr uses the delicious medium in order to convey that sexually charged aura that accompanies the stripped down sculptures. According to TreadHunter, the juxtaposition between the sugary syrup and the naked bodies represents the way that sexual relationships can be sweet and satisfying, but also the way in which people get themselves into sticky situations over lust and desire.

Sex sells and so does candy- the combination of both is bound to create extra appeal to the already wonderful creations.

Joseph Marr was born in 1979 in Australia and now lives and works in Berlin.(via Tread Hunter)

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Six Artists Transform Sugar Into Art

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Aude Moreau

Aude Moreau sugar

Aude Moreau

At Beautiful Decay we are beginning to bring our readers weekend coverage, where we’ll be sharing micro art trends of the unusual and unexpected every weekend.  And we figured what better way to start than with dessert?

The work featured here of artists Peter Bugg, Rebecca Holland, William Lamson, Aude Moreau, Navid Nuur and Kara Tanaka demonstrates that diverse ways confection can become conceptual.  From the painstaking process of Moreau’s Sugar Carpet (which uses 4,500 pounds of loose Domino sugar) to the haunting ephemerality of Tanaka’s Social Leveler (When Immortality Became Uncouth)the use of sugar as a medium, sometimes in combination with other materials, becomes an expansive tactile vehicle.

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Colorful Mounds of Sugar Form Fantasy Landscapes in Pip and Pop’s Installation Work

 

These bright, candied installation pieces are the work of Australian artist Tanya Schultz. Working under the name Pip & Pop, Schultz employs sugar, glitter, fake flowers, and a myriad of other materials to produce the colorful mounds of awesomeness. It’s not a far stretch to picture the works as actual landscapes- to fantasize about walking around in Pip & Pop’s unique world. Diabetes was never so easy on the eyes ’til now. More after the jump. (via) Read More >

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Josh Atlas’ Donut and Frosting Sculptures And Drawings

I don’t know anyone who loves donuts quite as much as Josh Atlas and so it’s wonderful to see him utilizing his passion within the context and even materials of his fine art practice. He’s made sculptures incorporating real elements of frosting as well as encasing a donut within a picture frame surrounded by sprinkles. However, don’t panic, since he does it all in a way in which he’s able to preserve the materials so that they don’t disintegrate or attract fruit flies. After all, besides being one of my favorite artists working today, he’s also kind of a genius. I mean, he recently graduated with his bfa from Carnegie Melon University!!! But what I think draws me to his work most is that it’s all about what he calls “The Holy Trinity of Want” – food, love, and sex – and he showcases it all with a gigantic sense of elegant humor.

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Cyriak Harris

Cyriak Harris is an artist living in Brighton. He makes splendid videos that remind me of the sensation of sugar on my tongue. I feel the urge to push and push, but each video tells me to sit down and understand that “everything is going to be okay.”

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