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: 1000L

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

Artist Kara Walker's monumental installation occupies much of the cavernous interior of the former Domino Sugar Refinery. The former refinery is 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 and power in her work.

The full title of the work is very long. It 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. It has slightly exaggerated African features.

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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Assigned 10 times

  • aliciap
    5/19/2014 - 03:06 p.m.

    wow that is very cool and sweet i want to see this right now but i don't live in new york city i live in oklahoma which is a great state

  • keylanmurry
    5/19/2014 - 03:20 p.m.

    I think this is a great way to express yourself about something. I hope this sends out a message to everyone around the world, not just factory workers.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    5/19/2014 - 07:30 p.m.

    I think that this sculpture is cool, but it is really we rid because it is made of sugar and it is a waste of sugar. I think that it would be fun to have that thing melt because if it melted, then it would be a waste of sugar. I think that if would be really cool to have a sugar sculpture of a thing because it can be eaten someday and it might be good for food and other things. I hope that this things could be a cool thing in the world because it is art and art can be really cool and you can become really famous when you make something or build something. I think that this person id famous because this person had made something that is cool and awesome. I think that this person could have lost many amounts of money because that person used a lot of sugar on the sculpture.

  • John0724-YYCA
    5/19/2014 - 10:06 p.m.

    A sugar sculpture that weighs eight thousand pounds! I think it took more than a year to make that sculpture. And it will also need a lot of teamwork to finish that sugar sculpture. But there were a lot of more accomplishment that is even surprising than this.

  • jeff a
    5/20/2014 - 09:48 a.m.

    That is amazing how did they do that i think they take like 1 year to that keep on with your hard work and it will pay of for you.

    5/20/2014 - 10:07 a.m.

    Mmmmmmmmmmm, looks yummy! The only problem is that when I would try to eat it , it would take so long that it would go bad before I could eat a quarter of it. It could probably feed six families. : ]

  • alyxza1
    5/20/2014 - 10:22 a.m.

    I think this is really sweet for the people to have done this for black workers. I really appreciate them. I bet the black workers would be honered. But if I had to build this sculpture it would be a big challenge for me.

  • superman.nation.4life
    5/20/2014 - 10:22 a.m.

    i think he means to all black workers that we are all treated the same way and if not we should be. some people dont think they should have equal rights but i do.

  • camilla5k24
    5/20/2014 - 11:20 a.m.

    The artist means by this phrase that they aren't payed as much as they should be and they're working too much. ( I think.) 8,000 pounds! Wow!

  • yesenias12
    5/20/2014 - 11:30 a.m.

    if i lived in that place where they have that sugar sculpture i would go up to it and eat it but if they have some security guarding it then i wont do it or if they have cameras then i wont either because i love sugar

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