On the upper floor of an unassuming old-timey building in Downtown Los Angeles, artists Scott Hove and Baker’s Son (Keith Magruder) have quietly transformed Think Tank Gallery’s entire premises into a 7,500-square-foot maze of cake and fangs. Their epic, immersive sculptural installation takes the form of a pink-and-white frosted, crystal-encrusted, sharp-toothed temple of decadence, and serves as the sugar-coated setting for a monthlong festival of creative multi-platform self-indulgence they’re calling Breaking Bread. It is literally the opposite of Lent—unless you gave up moderation.
Both Scott Hove and Baker’s Son use food and representations of it—especially the confectionary, empty-calorie comfort of sugary desserts—in their art. Hove tends toward the more sculptural while Magruder is mainly a painter, but both have their own spin on the story of desire, seduction, memory, indulgence, repulsion, comfort, consumption, and loathing that is the stuff candyland dreams are made of. Hove, who worked on Bansky’s Dismaland project, is no stranger to operating at an epic scale.
Doorways replete with ornately carved frosting jambs open into niches and cul-de-sacs of mirrored halls and oppressively, delightfully pink buttercream cornices. Fanged creatures emerge from pink sugar walls, along with high heels and sparkling crystals like Versailles through the looking glass. There’s enough room inside this sprawling shrine to powdered sugar to hide a whole bistro. It’s magic, oddly emotional, and even a little scary inside, which is Hove’s wheelhouse.
Baker’s Son employs a more conventional idea of Pop art with the zestful playfulness, surrealism, and humor of a Wayne Thiebaud or Mel Ramos. His watercolor paintings of sugary junk food, like Hove’s cakes, are both attractive and repellent, beautiful and toxic. Finely rendered gummy bears, avalanches of soft serve, the supersaturated palette of the candy store, and a direct lining tapping into our collective childhoods are Magruder’s active ingredients. For Breaking Bread, the pair combined their visions—along with cast members from Cirque du Soleil’s Zumanity, who collaborated on aspects of the art and the performance—to not only build the cake maze, but to occupy its several rooms with bars, stages, and diners across 30 days of food, drink, comedy, music, weed-based cuisine, art workshops, crafty vending, and performance events for sweet tooths and supper clubbers.
After a public gallery opening on Saturday, February 13, you can get lost in the cake maze for free every day from 11am - 5pm until it closes March 13. Click here to learn more.