Thursday, January 27, 2011

Holy SNOW DAY Batman!

I understand that this blog is supposed to be about art and my work and my process and yadda yadda yadda, and not particularly about the weather, which it seems to have some emphasis on recently. Let me explain.... Its January, and New York City really has been getting bent over by Jack Frost and receiving a hearty dose of snow nearly every night now! Give it a rest! We're not like the rest of North America who prepare every year for this crap, and it puts a real damper on every situation.
My school is closed. Blessing? Not quite. I stayed up last night slaving over a hot laptop to produce an acceptable Artist Statement, which I was going to promptly hand in today, as it is due this week, its already Thursday, and I don't have class on Friday. WELL! Now that Manhattan is the north pole, I won't be able to get my work in, and will have to go to school on a day when normally I wouldn't. Minor blunder, but still entirely annoying.

Perhaps I will take this day to see a museum, once the guys on my sidewalk finish shoveling, that is. Preferably The Whitney, to see what all the hub-bub is about this Hopper show, and some weird performance that goes on in the main hall, what ever that is.

Anyway, to keep spirits up, here are some photos and a review from a few months back when I attended this silly but amazing show in the Lower East Side. I think it is pretty self explanatory...

TEN THOUSAND CUPCAKES an installation by Leah Foster

CON Artist Gallery at 116 Ludlow Street

Review by Alexa Strautmanis

The title of this show is literal, and in actuality is an installation of ten thousand cupcakes. The chosen site for this piece is an unassuming basement in the lower east side, which you access through those doors in the sidewalk we are all afraid of falling into when left open.

The aroma of baked goods wafts up and hits you harder than the ‘CAUTION! LOW HEAD CLEARENCE!’ sign on the way down the nearly vertical, accident-waiting-to-happen staircase. Once descended, you enter the front room, which acts as a retail space, full of items totally unrelated to anything muffin. Just clothing, jewelry, assorted accessories, a kind of haberdashery if you will, full of ties and pretty little things to adorn to clothing, including a quite fetching turquoise scorpion broach.

Through the doorway you can already see the treats inside, cupcakes upon cupcakes upon cupcakes, creating a colorful crumbly wall, cemented with frosting. Each vertical column is suspended from the ceiling by what seems to be a high test fishing line of some sort, but the weight of the cakes have stretched out the string, leaving a few of the bottom ones slack on the floor. Cupcakes form floor to ceiling walls, creating a hallway leading to an inner room, completely enclose the viewer in a cake cubical.

At first glace, no two cupcakes are exactly the same, completely individualized with different frostings, sprinkles, and baking liners. It brings to mind snowflakes, in their uniqueness, and Christmas time altogether, threading popcorn after popcorn for decoration, and how you always end up eating at least a few along the way.

For such an overpowering, larger than life scene, there is an undeniable innocence in these confections as a whole. It takes a girl back to the days of EZ bake ovens, and making necklaces and bracelets of colorful plastics, selecting each bead with conviction to form a beautiful pattern when it hangs. Using a medium like cupcakes, which are so iconic in and of themselves, leaves the piece open to interpretation. It could very well be a simple nod to childhood, or even a more confrontational topic like the obesity epidemic present in America today. One can even look at this installation as a memento mori piece, as the cupcakes go stale, hardening and crumbing over time, losing their taste and aroma, they lose life.

Whatever the message is, if there even is a set message, this piece is a sight to behold. Few people will ever see this amount of cupcakes, unless they happen to work in a Hostess factory. This show is definitely worth a visit while its still warm on a windowsill, and will leave you perfumed in angel food.


  1. This is a really great accomplishment!

  2. Wow! Thank you so much, anonymous commenter! This was posted so long ago, and the show even longer before... I hope the artist will see that her wonderful show was so successful and can still be enjoyed, as seen here.

    Thank you!
    Alexa Strautmanis