Artists create a Willy Wonka paradise to life at LA’s Think Tank Gallery.
The Break Bread exhibit at LA’s Think Tank Gallery features a 7,000-square-foot, six-room maze made from larger than life cakes that look good enough to eat.
Created by artists Scott Hove and Keith Magruder, aka Baker’s Son, the colossal cakes—each one expertly decorated with spackle and house paint and finished with real candy—share the space with ornate chandeliers made from gumdrops and shimmering hard candies. Beyond them, circus mirrors framed in even more cake give viewers the illusion that their decadent surroundings extend to infinity.
“It really captures peoples’ emotions and imagination immediately when they walk in,” Scott Hove told the Los Angeles Times. “People have a lot of positive associations with cake. It appeals to a very primitive part of our brain.”
But the exhibit isn’t all pink icing and gumdrops. It also includes a crime scene: a sugar-laden basketball court where someone was shot and killed, an altar of flowers and candles arranged neatly under the basketball court’s hoop.
There are also countless reproductions of Uzi guns, each painted pink and blue and carefully decorated with candied orange slices and cherries. Then there’s Hove and Magruder’s rendition of a horror house, which features splattered black paint and a cage made with garlands constructed from real cow bones.
“There’s a dualistic element to all this—the aggressiveness, the potential for violence, then it starts telling a story that people can relate to,” Hove said. “As we’re striving for celebration in our lives, there are a lot of obstacles that are not pleasant. As we’re sipping champagne at a party, there are people in Syria getting massacred—and that needs to be reflected in art. We tried to bring the two together, the dark and the light.”
The exhibit runs until March 13 and will play host to several cultural events: artist talks, cabaret performances, interactive theater and comedy shows are all scheduled to take place. Cirque du Soleil will also be performing its risqué adult show “Zumanity” in the exhibit’s lounge space, which features a candy-covered boudoir, a stage and a bar.
In addition to this, Feastly, a San Francisco “pop up dining platform” will host seven private dining events at the gallery alongside live music and art. The service has partnered with renowned chefs Becky Reams of Fox’s MasterChef and Jonathan Tran of Ink to create brunch and dinner offerings aimed to serve food-as-performance “experiences.”
Reams is scheduled to serve her much-hyped monthly pop-up “Bang Bang Brunch,” and Tran’s dinner will consist of a five-course, farm-to-table spread alongside live art that will be created by Baker’s Son.
Los Angeles’ favourite Mbombo restaurant will also take part in the month-long festivities, creating an African feast complete with a live drum circle.
While tickets to these private events don’t come cheap—they’re currently priced at $45 - $135 per person depending on event type—Break Bread is free to view from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, except Wednesdays, through March 13.
Regardless of whether you’re planning on attending one of the exhibit’s private shows, or just thinking of stopping by during regular opening hours, Hove explains he wants Break Bread to be fun experience for all. “I want people to walk in and have a really enjoyable, peak beauty experience,” he says.
All images via Think Tank Gallery