CHELSEA — An artist known for his larger-than-life sculptures of food is transforming a local art gallery into an “asylum” for sugar addicts, who can stop by to see the source of their cravings literally bashed to bits.
Giant sculptures of desserts like cherry pie, cake and macarons will be “smashed, mushed, splattered, broken and thrown” throughout Unix Gallery on West 24th Street when “SUGATARIUM” opens on April 27, the gallery said.
“Institutional beds” set up throughout the gallery will allow visitors to “rest and view the artwork while confronting their own dependence on sweets,” artist Peter Anton said in a statement.
“I always liked exploring how foods, especially sweets, have a strong emotional connection to our own personal life histories, and the strong responses they evoke,” Anton added in an email.
The artist, who turned Unix Gallery into a shrine to food two years ago, said his upcoming exhibit was inspired in part by the current political climate.
“Everything seems unsettled and anxiety-ridden,” he told DNAinfo. “Therefore, I felt the need to express this insanity by focusing on how we turn to sugar for escape and comfort when things get crazy in our lives.”
A photo taken at the gallery depicts a straitjacket-clad Anton staring at a mixed media piece called “SUGAR MADNESS-CHERRY PIE.”
“It shows a person who is so obsessed with sweets that he is out of control and needs to be restrained,” he said of the photo. “In his mind, the size of the piece is super-sized to show the power sweets have over his mind and body.
“One of the ways that he acts out is by throwing the desserts that hold such power over him,” he explained.
Visitors who attend the exhibit’s opening, “for their own safety… will only be allowed to speak with Mr. Anton through a glass partition via a phone intercom system,” the gallery added.
His pieces will be on display until June 17.