A Subtlety

Kara Walker’s work A Subtlety (2014), which was located in a former Brooklyn Domino Sugar factory, was far from subtle. Walker’s piece featured an enormous white sculpture of a nude women, who was covered in 80,000 pounds of refined white sugar. The sugar made the sculpture blindingly white, yet the women was presented as the stereotypical  African American women, a mammies, with exaggerated features and her pose. The figure reminds me of an Aunt Jemima figure, with the kerchief and earrings. This work reminds the audience of the immense horrors suffered by Africans slaves in the international sugar trade.

I love art that makes the viewer think and by Walker using sugar makes for a very introspective experience. Additionally, the sculpture is almost jailed into her location by steel polls, which is representative of slavery.



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