A Sugar Factory Analysis

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In a Sugar Factory, on the east side of New York City, a woman sphinx was created. This figure was created in 2004. It was 35 feet high and 75 feet long. The figure had busty breast, full lips wide hips, and big buttocks. Artist, Kara Walker, created a woman made of bleached sugar, bare of clothing, and a hair tie around her head. This sculpture was a reminder of where she is from and tell the story of the people behind the sugar trade.

The decaying sugar used to build this piece exemplifies the story behind the placement and why it was created in the first place. She would name it, A Subtlety, or the Marvelous Sugar Baby. The posture of the Sugar Baby was very sexual. The arch in her back correspond with the gesture of a dog in heat.
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They are symbolized as protectors. I believe this is why Ms. Walker choose a woman rather than a male. Woman during the time of slavery were said to be strong willed and very dominant. The women replace the usual male role because, the males were taken at an early age to work in the field.

The sphinx’s physical attributes correlate with animal tactics similar to those of a lion and also slaves. The lion hunts and monitors its prey, just as the slaves with the slave owners. The slaves would watch and monitor the masters and slave owners, so that they could escape. The slaves were very creative with their means of escape and paid attention to details of their surroundings. Also, the hair tie and facial features of the sphinx, resembles those of the women slaves.

Although the “Sugar Baby” has been removed, the pictures are a reminder of the sugar trade and the dehumanization of black women. Today, slavery and dehumanization of women still exist and is a part of our present society. With so much delicacy taken into making the piece impactful to name it “A Subtlety” is to also say, “Remember Me”! A book, a new building, another story cannot erase the past. Just as the Sugar Baby has been removed, it’s memories speak loudly for those of the sugar

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