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An exhibit where fashion meets candy

August 23, 2012|By Amanda Boleman and Renee Pinckney | RedEye

Fashion is synonymous with many things, but gummy bears are probably the last thing that comes to mind.

Not at Water Tower Place, though.

An exhibit called Fashion Imposter showcasing gummy bears is sure to pique the public's interest when it's showcased at Candyality Water Tower Place starting Friday and running through Sept 6.

Inspired by social commentary and craftsmanship, artist Crummy Grummy used color depictions to create life through a Gummy Bear's eyes.

This one-of-a-kind collection features famous icons including Lady Gaga, the Kardashian clan, the stars of "The Real Housewives" series and other notable fashion trendsetters.

Terese McDonald, owner of Candyality, said the store regularly features exhibits that employees and customers find interesting.

"We wanted to do something that would make people think outside of the box," she said. "This showcase is very funny and will cause people to take a step back and laugh."

Fashion and sweets also go hand-in-hand, she said. "You can't go shopping without a bag of treats."

Candyality’s Northbridge location currently features an exhibit called Goody Goody Two Shoes, made up of candyscape shoes inspired after style icons such as Lady Gaga, Kim K and Kelly Osbourne.

“We picked several different people from different walks of life who are fashionable in their own right,” McDonald said.

For Fashion Imposter, Crummy Gummy will make a special appearance at Candyality from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Gummy Bear-influenced "kiddie cocktails" will be served along with other Candyality favorites.

RedEye caught up with photographer and street artist Crummy Gummy, 28, of Orlando, in time for his debut Friday at Candyality.

What was your inspiration for the Fashion Imposters show? What is the story behind it?
Most of my artwork consists of photographing gummy bears in humorous situations. So when they told me it was going to be held during Chicago’s Shopping Festival, I figured I could play with that and have some real fun with it. I decided to create the idea, “How would a gummy bear interpret what we (humans) call fashion?” by using fashion and fashion icons as a source of inspiration. You can expect me to poke a little fun with celebrities like Lady Gaga, “The Real Housewives of (enter city here)” and the McQueen inspired gummy bear dress.

How did the Fashion Imposters display come together?
Candyality and I have spoken about an idea of showcasing my work there and I traditionally show my artwork in galleries but secretly always wanted to do a show at an amazing candy store. To be surrounded by gummy bear art and all the best candies around you, how can you not start to drool? I just hope I can control myself.

What is your favorite Fashion Imposter gummy? 
I am always amazed by Lady Gaga and the lengths she goes to by wearing one-of-a-kind “pieces” that shock people. You know she is not comfortable in a dress made out of meat.  So, I created a photo showing how a fashionable gummy bear would rock that outfit. In my opinion, I say Gaga has some competition heading her way. I will also be displaying my Gummy Bear Gladiator, a fashionable helmet made up of over 800 gummy bears! Practical? Not really. Awesome? You better believe it.

Do you consider yourself a fashionista? 
Unless you consider wearing a white T-shirt and shorts most of the time fashionable then I would have to say no. But to my luck, I have a sister and girlfriend who love everything fashion and they help to not let me leave my apartment looking like a hot mess. Just never go shopping with them. You might end up under a pile of bags, they made you carry, gasping for air.

How did you first get started working with gummy bears?
I had a creative block a few years back and became frustrated with what I was producing, so one day I just forced myself to become creative. I told myself that I would visit a convenience store, find some random items, and try to create something artistic out of it. Gummy bears were one of those items, and I photographed them in four different scenarios that day. I posted them online, and within a few days they got almost 1,000 likes. That was the start of all this madness. Good thing I didn’t buy a plunger that day.

How would you describe your work?
You can find a lot of my personality in my art, so I would say a little sarcasm mixed in with a lot of humor and nostalgia. Not to mention it will have you craving gummy bears, which is never a bad thing.

Have you ever been to Chicago before? What do you look forward to doing in the city on your visit?
I was in Chicago earlier this year when it snowed for the first time and I can never forget it. I managed to overlook the small hole at the bottom of my shoe that let the freezing snow in and I managed to fall on my ass at the park. But after a new pair of shoes, socks and dry pants I had a blast in the city. I am a bit of a foodie and Chicago has some amazing food. I definitely plan to relax a belt notch or two on this trip and also do some of the touristy stuff that I was not able to do because of the snow last time. Got any recommendations?

Will the Fashion Imposters show be traveling to other destinations?
There are no immediate plans right now, but you never know. I am always open to suggestions and excuses for me to travel.

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