Not So Subtle / by VH McKenzie


I was thrilled to experience Kara Walker's latest art installation, "A Subtlety" at the former Domino Sugar Factory in Brooklyn earlier this summer. The installation ended on July 6, 2014; if you weren't able to see it in person, take a look at the photos I've taken. Ms. Walker's own statement about the installation:

 Kara Walker - 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


(Note: Medieval sugar sculptures were known as "subtleties.")

My daughter and I took the L train to Brooklyn and walked to the site; the line was around the block but moved fairly quickly. Admission was free.







We had to sign a waiver……



We were warned not to touch the art but were encouraged to take photos or videos and share on social networks. (Please click on my photos to see the full image).


A great, soaring industrial space:



Small piles of brown sugar still seen in the nooks and crannies of the space:


Pools of molasses on the floor --


Usually at the feet of any one of several small sculptures of young children, crafted of resin and molasses. 





Most held sculpted fruit baskets filled with un-refined sugar.



All were gradually deteriorating and melting during the course of the installation.





And at the far northern end of the vast space, there she was - 35 feet high and covered in 4 tons of sugar:



She was magnificent.

And voluptuous:



 From every angle:







Everyone was posing for pics with the Subtlety, the Mammy Sphinx:



And I did, too!



Her inspiration. Read more here.