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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sweet Enough to Eat: CandyBAM

For those who celebrate it, Easter brings to mind many traditions—but our favorite part has, and always will be, the CANDY. Even though we’re not entirely sure what Peeps are made of, we still gorge on them and those amazing Cadbury eggs when they magically appear on Duane Reade’s shelves this time of year.

So we thought it would be seasonally appropriate to share with you BAM’s most cavity-inducing project, CandyBAM. When BAM was undergoing renovations in 2002, we teamed up with the Public Art Fund and Brazilian artist Vik Muniz to transform the facade into something a lot sweeter and more whimsical than scaffolding or plain mesh. A Fort Greene resident himself, the BAM building always reminded Muniz of a cake—so he decided to transform it into a gingerbread house. He worked with Soutine Bakery on the Upper West Side (a truly dangerous place to live near because their pain au chocolat is to.die.for) to create an exact-scale replica of the building out of gingerbread and CANDY. There were windows made out of frosting, jelly bean arches, gummy bear cornices, and even an M&M frieze. He then created a giant blow-up photograph and wrapped the facade in it, creating a mouth-watering sheath for the building while it received the overhaul it needed.

Now, aside from asking what happened to the miniature gingerbread BAM replica (Who had the pleasure of eating BAM?), we can also evaluate the candy that Muniz selected to create CandyBAM. Once you get past the baskets and the green cellophane grass, the most important qualities in Easter candy are seasonality, originality and, of course, taste. We also assess the candy according to quintessential BAM qualities such as adventurousness, risk-taking, and aesthetic/formal rigor. So the next time you’re picking up something sugary at the bodega, ask yourself: Is this candy BAM enough? And please, indulge responsibly.

Candy #1: Gumdrops (the top of CandyBAM)

Easter-relevance / Seasonal Appropriate-ness?: 9
Color-wise, these scream Easter.
Adventurousness: 4
Flavor-wise, these are pretty predictable. Watch out for the greeen ones!
Aesthetically-pleasing and formally-rigorous? 7
Classic lines and well-rounded contours make the gumdrop an iconic and petite treat.
Total: 20 
The BAM bunny says: Eat it!

Candy #2: Frosting (used for the windows)

Easter-relevance / Seasonal Appropriate-ness?: 10
We think frosting is relevant 365 days of the year.
Adventurousness: 7
While frosting is pretty by-the-book for a gingerbread house, reproducing BAM's architectural minutiae, is pretty incredible.
Aesthetically-pleasing and formally-rigorous? 10
Frosting is the most malleable of desserts—and therefore has the most aesthetic potential.
Total: 27
The BAM bunny says: Consume in moderation

Candy #3: Jellybean Arches
Easter-relevance / Seasonal Appropriate-ness?: 8
Jellybeans nicely adhere to the easter-color spectrum
Adventurousness: 1
This is a tame treat experience unless you get some of those crazy flavors that we find pretty revolting. 
Aesthetically-pleasing and formally-rigorous? 4
Little candy beans that get stuck in your teeth is not our thing
Total: 13
The BAM bunny says: Save your calories for something else

Candy #4: Gummy Bear Cornices

Easter-relevance / Seasonal Appropriate-ness?: 0
Bunnies rule Easter, and second come chicks. Bears, unfortunately, do not fit in to this menagerie.
Adventurousness: 6
Not quite as badass as gummy worms, but still pretty fun to bite their heads off. Vik Muniz also took these amazing gummy bear photographs
Aesthetically-pleasing and formally-rigorous? 10
They are cute translucent bears that you can eat! ‘Nuff  said.
Total: 16
The BAM bunny says: Eat those little suckers.

Candy #5: M&M Frieze

Easter-relevance / Seasonal Appropriate-ness?: 7
They make them especially for Easter, in pastel colors!
Adventurousness: 4
This most perfect of chocolate confections is sadly, not very adventurous. But sometimes you just feel like a classic.
Aesthetically-pleasing and formally-rigorous? 10
Elliptically formed, M&Ms are scientifically engineered to melt in your mouth and not in your hand.
Total: 21
The BAM bunny says: Save some for us. Thank you.

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