Inside of the tent containing the Frieze art fair–which opened today and takes place all weekend on Randall’s Island in New York–temperatures feel almost tropical. So, it’s a lucky break that the Rio de Janerio gallery A Gentil Carioca brought some popsicles.
The treats come courtesy of the Brazilian art collective Opavivará!, where they are stashed inside a frozen cooler decorated with cartoonish figures. It’s all part of a larger piece titled Flora Treme. They are calling the popsicles themselves Tupycolé. “Tupy is the name of a native tribe in Brazil,” Márcio Botner of A Gentil Carioca told me, before explaining the piece’s “connection with anthropology, the idea that the natives used to be cannibals.”
So, on that tip, you have the desserts themselves. “They create different parts of the body,” Botner said. “You have a face”–he picked up a popsicle with a thick outline of a face. “The feet, another feet,” he continued. “Here you have a hand.” He paused and rummaged a bit more. “Penis.”
All of this made me curious enough to want to try one, but that was before I found out the treats were going for $20 a pop. “We want to sell it as a piece of art,” Botner said. Fair enough, but at an art fair like Freize, where a combination bagel and lox from Russ and Daughters paired with an iced coffee will set you back $26, a $20 popsicle doesn’t have to be a piece of art–it can just be a damn popsicle.