“A Subtlety” Reminder That Sugar Isn’t Always Sweet

“A Subtlety or the Marvelous Sugar Baby an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant.”



This lengthly name  is an Art installation by Kara Walker in the soon too be demolished Domino factory in Brooklyn. It consists of these larger than life sized sculptures of “sugar babies” made from you guessed it, sugar.


I learned of this exhibit, “The Sublety” from Instagram.  Thank God the people I follow on instagram just don’t post memes with outlandish relationship advice on random pictures. Seriously, when did ANY cast member of full house mention these things? I’ll wait.

Now that I got that out of the way…

Although I have seen tons of hashtagged images from this installation it is something I recommend you checking out for yourself. The sweet smell yet decaying walls is something a tweet can’t capture.



Something that I did notice (I am sure it was intentional) due to the weather conditions the pieces themselves have begun to disintegrate, developing a more complex twist.

The melting molasses looks like blood.
The melting molasses looks like blood and the debris on the sugar baby’s face appears like tears.



Broken and maimed “sugar” limbs were once actual bodies suffering.


Then there is the 30 foot juxtaposition of a Sphinx and a Mammy. Interesting to say the least.






Kara Walker’s ‘A Subtlety’ exhibit is at the Domino Sugar Factory (316 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211). 


  • The exhibition is open Fridays 4–8pm, Saturdays 12–6pm, and Sundays 12–6pm.
  • The exhibition is closed Mondays through Thursdays, and on Friday, July 4th.
  • The exhibition is free and open to the public. No tickets or advance reservations needed.
  • In the event of a line, the wait time is generally about 20 minutes.
  • Due to capacity restrictions, the line may need to be cut off as early as 30 minutes prior to closing time.
  • All visitors will be asked to sign a waiver in order to enter the site.
  • The closest subway stops are the Bedford L and the Marcy Ave JMZ. Both are about a 12-minute walk to the site.
  • The Q59 and B32 bus lines stop directly in front of Domino.
  • The site is fully wheelchair accessible.
  • There is no parking provided onsite, but street parking is available in the surrounding area. Bike parking is available onsite.