How sweet it is! Sugar sculpture weighs 8,000 pounds
How sweet it is! Sugar sculpture weighs 8,000 pounds Four tons of sugar were used to create the 35-foot-high sphinx-like sculpture
How sweet it is! Sugar sculpture weighs 8,000 pounds
Lexile: 1250L

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A 35-foot-tall sphinxlike sculpture made of sugar is on display at an old New York City factory as a tribute to black workers.

Artist Kara Walker's monumental installation occupies much of the cavernous interior of the former Domino Sugar Refinery in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.

Four tons of sugar was used to create the female figure. There are several smaller sculptures of young boys covered in molasses with fruit baskets holding unrefined sugar.

A sweet aroma still fills the air in the shuttered factory.

The artist is known for exploring issues of race, discrimination, sexual exploitation and power in her work.

The full title of the work is "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 Refining Plant."

The head of the large sculpture wears a kerchief and has slightly exaggerated African features. Her breasts are exposed and her fists are thrust out.

Walker has described the pose as both submissive and domineering.

She said in an interview with Complex Magazine that she thought of the sphinx as "this woman-like creature or guardian of the city, the keeper of the riddle, the devourer of heroes."

Critical thinking challenge: What does the artist mean by unpaid and overworked Artisans?

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  • im23nolife
    5/19/2014 - 08:50 a.m.

    The artists means slave. Slaves were free labor and they worked twenty-four, seven. The artist refers to them as "artisans" because they're making a connection between them and the slaves.

  • CarlosRios
    5/19/2014 - 11:49 a.m.

    Esto es interesante de que hay personas que hacen grandes esculpturas como un trabajo o un hobby y se me hace mas interesante que lo hizo de azucar.

  • KailynPa
    5/19/2014 - 01:37 p.m.

    Having diabetes, this makes me sick, just imagining what it could do to my blood sugar. I also think this is like a waste of time to sculpt something almost pointless.

  • BrandonI
    5/19/2014 - 01:37 p.m.

    To me it looks really weird. Why would she make it out of sugar and not out of something more permanent? Or why make it into a sphinx shape? Is beyond me. Oh well only artists understand other artists.

  • 8annam
    5/19/2014 - 02:46 p.m.

    how is it possible for a statue to be made out of sugar? and for it to be 35 feet tall? and weigh 8,ooo pounds? thats realy cool i wonder how long it took to build it?

  • norbertoc-Koc
    5/21/2014 - 05:48 p.m.

    I think it is awesome that someone could make this with there own two hands. Also it was a girl and for a good topic to make it for. I just think the fact people are truly amazing and talented. I cant imagine trying to do what this women did to make this sculpture. Also how long it took her to make it just to get everything perfect. That is what i like about this article and interests me about this article.

  • 3EllieO
    5/23/2014 - 12:42 p.m.

    Wow!! This was very very interesting to me. It stated that it took 4 tons of sugar to make this 35 foot tall sculpture. I wonder how much money she spent on all of that sugar! It is amazing what people can make these days. This probably would leave a legacy just like history has left. Many people would probly be surprised if they saw this. I thought it was very interesting and cool and it actually all stayed Together just fine!

  • NicoleK-5
    5/25/2014 - 04:24 p.m.

    A 35 foot tall sculpture made out of sugar is on display at an old New York City factory to memorialize and as a tribute to all of the black workers there. Four tons of sugar was used to create this cat-like
    sculpture. It weighs 8,000 pounds. That's a lot of sugar!

  • victors-Koc
    5/26/2014 - 04:31 p.m.

    that is really cool and must have taken a lot of sugar and time so apparently people have a lot of both but whatever that is really cool and creative good job.

  • sarahs-Koc
    5/26/2014 - 09:42 p.m.

    I cannot Imogen how long it must of taken her to do that sculpture and to have the patients for it. I hope one day I can make an impact just like her.

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