Kara Walker's Kara Walker's "A Subtlety" or "The Marvelous Sugar Baby" Exhibit, Domino Sugar Factor, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 6/20/14

It has grown into a national and international sensation.

Tourists are flying in from Detroit, Paris, Hong Kong, Nashville… and heading straight to Brooklyn to see it: the sugar sphinx.

A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby,” is a larger-than-life homage by artist and sculptor Kara Walker “to the unpaid and overworked artisans who have refined our sweet tastes.”

The exhibit, which opened May 10, and will conclude Sunday, July 6, is sculpted from 35 tons of white sugar, making it, perhaps, the most delectable creations of art that Williamsburg has ever seen.

The messages of the exhibit are at once passive-aggressive, screaming while whispering, Ask me why I am sitting so; ask me why I am naked.

Ask me why I am clearly an African woman, yet every inch of me is snow-white.

Set inside of an abandoned 11-acre warehouse– the old Domino Sugar Factory– which will be demolished later this year, the exhibit transports visitors to a time long before the digital innovations of their iPhones used to Instagram her every angle– a time when forced labor was the latest form of technology.

Walker’s marvelous Sugar Baby exhibit is beautiful, arresting or, at the very least, will give viewers pause.

So if you live in Central Brooklyn, the backyard of this historic exhibit, and you have not yet gone to see it, hurry!

This sticky confection has a remaining shelf life of about two more weeks.

Join the Conversation


  1. Please tell me that there is a catalogue for this exhibition. I have only heard about this ‘awesome’ work of art (via The Root) two days ago; I am scurrying to find a way to New York to witness this once in a lifetime event…but! Although I remain hopeful, is there another such event planned (not?) or catalogue?
    Please respond, Sandra Cross in Savannah, GA

  2. Hi Sandra,

    No, unfortunately, once this event closes, it is closed. It speaks specifically to the Domino Sugar Plant’s demolition, so it is site- and event-specific. However, check out the exhibit’s producers/curators creativetime.org. They have some amazing exhibitions, and another one will go up in Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights in September by Creativetime. Sign up for the newsletter to stay posted.

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