Gingerbread house

Thursday, December 28th, 2006 | All Things, Arts

Even the MTA gets into the New Year’s spirit.

MTA Happy New Year

I arrived at work that evening to discover this gingerbread house on a low table in the lounge area — slightly worse for wear from the sweet-toothed attentions of my co-workers. I love gingerbread, but I like the idea of gingerbread houses more than the houses themselves. The pretty creations strike me as difficult to make and in my experience, are almost always stale by the time they’ve been showcased long enough for everyone to admire the handiwork.

Gingerbread House

Icing Snowman

From Fall 2002 through Spring 2004, the Brooklyn Academy of Music underwent an extensive renovation, which included an $8.6 million exterior restoration. Instead of erecting eyesore scaffolding during that time, BAM siezed on the opportunity to create public art. Brazilian artist Vik Muniz photographed a scaled gingerbread reproduction of BAM, complete with royal icing stained glass windows, jellybean arches and an M&M frieze, all crafted in intricate detail by my favorite neighborhood bakery, Soutine. The whimsical piece was dubbed CandyBAM and enlarged to print on a vinyl mesh screen for the 300 by 60 foot façade.

Muniz is known for his avant-garde works in edible (and unconventional) media. The artist once drip-painted Life magazine Hans Namuth’s iconic photograph of Jackson Pollock at work and Leonardo’s ”Last Supper” in chocolate syrup and created duo replicas of the Mona Lisa” in peanut butter and jelly. His work was the subject of a PBS Independent Lens feature.

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