On Art 21 this week, the site posted an article entitled “Contemporary Art, How Sweet It Is” about an artist Paul Root and art historian Nicole Root who decided to undertake an almost humorous project – creating sculptures out of candy and other sweets. While the art is purely amusing to look at, the article suggests that Shore and Root were truly trying to comment on the culture of contemporary sculptures and bring into question some important notions regarding “new” art.
In the project, Shore and Root sought to recreate important projects by Minimalist and Earthwork artists and sculptures. In essence, Shore copied the work of these artists, but made something new through his use of candy and his artistic eye. On the surface, I find the exhibit to be very appealing. There is something really neat about creating a child’s fantasy by making a world where even art could (ostensibly) be eaten. But deeper than this is an important message, I think.
By re-creating contemporary art with candy, it seems that Shore may be making a commentary on contemporary art itself and how it really breaks all boundaries and tries the new and absurd. In the article, Shore mentions that he thinks by recreating the works with candy, the art may be made accessible and less intimidating to those unacquainted with recent art history.
I think that this is a very good point to make – contemporary art to those who often do not look at art may seem crazy, inaccessible, and incomprehensible. Yet, what Shore did to bring this kind of art closer to all people is a very smart idea. Just as a Shakespeare text can be made easy to understand by the “Spark Notes” version, this contemporary art was made more accessible to the viewer by using a familiar medium and playful attitude. The more relatable, the more understandable.