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Kara Walker’s giant sphinx not just sugar-coating

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 01:30

May 16 - Kara Walker's latest project, ''A Subtlety'' features an enormous sugar-coated sphinx-like figure which dominates part of the former Domino Sugar factory, in Brooklyn, New York. Tara Cleary reports.

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Kara Walker's sugar-coated sphinx-like figure towers above the viewer. It's 75 feet or 23 meters tall, and it's 40-some tons of sugar-coating already show signs of transformation. Walker was commissioned by non-profit Creative Time to produce a project for the unused Domino Sugar factory before its demolition. The result is: "A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby". The artist, who is best known for her two-dimensional, cut paper silhouettes, says this is her biggest piece and her first sculpture. SOUNDBITE: Kara Walker, artist and creator of "A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby", saying (English): "I started to think about this location in relationship to colonialism and the slave trade and this work grew out of kind of long periods of researching, thinking, note-taking." Creating in a space whose commodity led to brutal exploitation, Walker wanted the piece to feel a little more hopeful. And yet she thinks the figure also contains many darker dimensions. SOUNDBITE: Kara Walker, artist and creator of "A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby", saying (English): "There are so many multiple readings, because it is this very dominant sort of female form but then there's a question of whether her facial features are allegorical or stereotypical." Keeping the sphinx company in the factory - whose walls still drip with molasses - are 15 "sugar babies" three of which are made from candy and so are quickly crumbling. The installation can be viewed on Friday evenings and on weekends until July 6th.

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Kara Walker’s giant sphinx not just sugar-coating

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 01:30