The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine

INTRODUCTION

I was contacted by independent curator Sarah Tanguy in spring of 2002. She was planning a show titled "Sweet Tooth" to be hosted at "COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts" located in Napa, California. The theme of the exhibit was to be an examination and exploration of our love-hate relationship with sweets. Sarah, like myself, is a resident of Washington DC and knew of my work from local art sales and shows. Of course she thought my work would be perfect for this exhibit. I excitedly accepted her offer to participate!

With over 40 artists contributing over 90 works of art, my creation would be unique in that it was to be a site-specific installation. Unlike the other works, mine would be created especially for this show and would be built onsite.

I've never participated in an exhibition of this size and caliber, so I wanted my piece to be bigger and better than anything I've ever created before. I decided to create a shrine to PEEPS®, since the classic yellow PEEP is my favorite. Coincidentally, 2003 is the 50th Anniversary of the PEEP. I designed my piece to commemorate this American icon and to celebrate it's part in our American culture.

The shows works were categorized into four parts: Material Illusions, Loss and Transcience, Socialized Confections, and Radical Alchemy. My piece falls into the latter category, Radical Alchemy. An excerpt from "Sweet Tooth":

"... artists who perform a secular transubstantiation through dislocation and suspension of disbelief. In their vision, sweets are turned into something else entirely or are referenced in a new context. Theirs is an alchemy that creates open-ended symbolic narratives"


Sarah Tanguy has published a full-color, 120-page catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Images, text and biographies by Sarah Tanguy document the exquisite artifice of the works featured in Sweet Tooth, and reveal the meaning and intention behind them. Available in COPIA's Cornucopia museum store and at fine museum stores nationally for $19.95.

The exhibit ran January 31, 2003 – May 12, 2003.

The Exhibition


View of the exterior wall of the "Sweet Tooth" exhibition space.

The Peeps Shrine
My sculpture was included in the section "Radical Alchemy".

The Peeps Shrine

"Holy Totem, Sweet Taboo"
(full frontal view)

Height: 8 feet
Width: 5 feet
Depth: 3 feet

The Peeps Shrine
(view from left)

The Peeps Shrine
Close-up view of the plush PEEP centerpiece.

The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine


The PEEP mosaic floor.

The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine

The total number of PEEPS® used in this project: 5053



TOTALS BY SECTION
Background Chicks: Yellow 2030 = 2030
Base Chicks: Blue 288
Chicks: Pink 286
Hearts: Red 75 = 649
Pillars and Arch Chicks: White 2355
Chicks: Pink 7
Hearts: Red 12 = 2374




TOTALS BY PEEP TYPE
Chicks: Yellow 2030
Chicks: Blue 288
Chicks: Pink 293
Chicks: White 2355
Hearts: Red 87

Project construction

The following series of pictures were taken as the installation was being setup.





The blank wall space and platform.
The backdrop wall dimensions are: 7' high, 5' wide.
The platform dimensions are: 5' wide, 1' high, 3' deep

The Peeps Shrine
The yellow PEEPS® are attached to the wall using 1.25" finishing nails.
Using a homemade jig, I first laid out the pattern for the nails.
The nails were put in place and the PEEPS® were then stuck onto the nails.

The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine
The completed PEEPS® backdrop.

The Peeps Shrine
A "top down" view of the PEEPS® backdrop.

The Peeps Shrine
A "bottom up" view of the PEEPS® backdrop.

The Peeps Shrine
The shrine pillars and arch were created using styrofoam.
Toothpicks were inserted into the styrofoam and the PEEPS® were stuck onto the toothpicks.

The Peeps Shrine
The PEEP centerpiece.
The gold spokes were created using various sized wooden dowels cut to different lengths. They were then spray painted gold and coated with glitter. The plush yellow PEEP is from Just Born. The entire piece was mounted just in front of the backdrop using a small bracket, which cannot be seen, so it looks as though the centerpiece is magically floating in the center of the shrine!

The Peeps Shrine

The aftermath ...

... note the sugar everywhere!

The Peeps Shrine
The Peeps Shrine