Kara Walker Domino Sugar Exhibit – Sugar as far as the eye can see

Art exhibits in New York City seem to happen with increasing regularity as the outer boroughs catch up and try to pass Manhattan as the center for artistic growth.  Ranging from outdoor street art exhibits to small art gallery displays, New York always seems to have something new and innovative displaying within the art community.  Yet these type of shows pale in comparison to what Creative Time in collaboration with Kara Walker have done over in Williamsburg.  Kara Walker has done created something overwhelmingly amazing by taking art, space, and materials to an entirely new level.

The exhibit is being put on at the old abandoned Domino Sugar factory that can be seen on the water front just north of the Williamsburg bridge.  Still an active construction site, as the factory will in the near future be turned into high rise apartments, one of the main buildings has been converted into one of the biggest spaces for art that you are likely to find in all of New York City.  The exhibit features a few unique items, the biggest being an enormous woman in a sphynx like pose covered entirely in white sugar (although the core of the sculpture seems to be made of polystyrene).  The sculpture stands over 35 feet tall and likely more than 75 feet long.  The piece stands nearly as high as the ceiling and looks huge even in a building bigger than a football field.  Flanking the sugar giant within the rest of the space are several individual statues of boys carrying baskets all of which seem to made out of a very smooth molasses type material.  While it may be almost summer on the outside, the factory is very cool in temperature but this doesn’t prevent the art from slowly melting, leaving puddles of sugar snaking there way across the floor.

Beyond just the art, the space is almost nearly as spectacular and impressive, especially since the factory will soon be demolished to make way for much newer buildings.  Getting to see such a unique and historic space before it is gone is worth the price of admission in and of itself.  The price of admission by the way is free to the public.  The space has its own unique and odd features that blend in almost seamlessly with the art.  Having been a sugar factory for so long, the walls now bleed molasses from having absorbed sugar for years and helps convey a very eerie and gloomy experience. When leaving the exhibit you can even see the large piles of sugar that have built up over the years in sections of the walls.  Mixing the art with the already magnificent factory space makes this an experience that can not be missed.

The Kara Walker Domino Sugar Exhibit is only open on Friday (4-8pm), Saturday, (12-6pm), and Sunday (12-6pm) so plan your visit accordingly.

New Yorker Tip: The exhibit only plans to be around for around a month so there is more often going to be a wait to get into the space.  The line goes rather quickly because of the size (and that you have to sign a waver to get in) so no need to get there early before it opens.