ICYMI: Sugar Sphinx Will Be Back

A Subtletly Kara Walker

Last summer, the world traveled to Brooklyn for Kara Walker’s “A Subtletly,” shown at the old Domino Sugar Factory. The work in this exhibit pulled on the history of sugar plantation workers and also drew attention to the complicity of various subjects in the sugar (read: slave) trade. The room smelled of a syrupy sweet, that was almost saccharine.  While figures of young brown boys carried baskets and loads of sugar, the mammy figure-in larger than life sphinx format, sat in the back with bandanna tied, towering over the entire scene.


The show was also a test of time. As the days went by, the figures lost limbs, the sugar started to crystallize. People also lost their mind, as the line wound itself around the block and those with less than normal cultural sensitivities provided lewd and disgusting responses.

In case you missed all of that, you have been provided a second chance. The Sikkema Jenkins and Co. gallery will be sharing some pieces from the exhibit. Details here.

And for those that can’t make another trip to New York to look at the sugar babies, take comfort in the awesome video of Kara Walker and Ms. Ava Duvernay. This was produced as part of a video series for The Broad Museum’s “Un-Private Collections” artist talk series.