Peter Anton’s explosive solo exhibition SUGATARIUM was a very popular and widely attended immersive exhibition of his new works. SUGATARIUM explored the uncontrollable and insanely addictive hold sugar has on us. In these troubled and unsettled times – where nothing seems to make sense – artist Peter Anton heightened the delirium by transforming a Manhattan gallery into a “SUGATARIUM.”
Monumental-sized, vibrant, and hyper-realistic sculptures – including a cherry pie, an ice cream sundae, cake, macarons, and other sugary treats – were smashed, mushed, splattered, broken and thrown throughout the space. Anton’s sculptures are highly detailed and hand-crafted from carefully selected and manipulated materials, including resin, plaster, wood, clay, aluminum, and acrylic and oil paints.
“Sugar raises the dopamine levels in the ‘rewards center’ of our brains,” says Anton. “As with many blissful activities, there is a fine line between pleasure and destruction. The vibrant colors and almost violent way the works are depicted illustrate this link.”
He describes the transformed space as “an asylum that is locked up and long forgotten. Visitors must duck and sneak into the ‘SUGATARIUM’ through a broken open window instead of a door. Institutional beds complete with restraining straps await the new ‘patients’ where they can rest and view the artwork while confronting their own dependence on sweets.” The entire gallery was painted in a retro institutional green color. Scanning security cameras were strategically placed throughout the space. The gallery staff wore white medical coats and uniforms during the exhibition. At the exhibition opening, for their own safety, visitors were only be allowed to speak with Mr. Anton through a security glass partition via a phone intercom system. There were also several actors who played the parts of “patients” of the SUGATARIUM and interacted with the gallery patrons.