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Seeing Things

The Rope Guy Is Really the Cake Guy

Light, paint, rope, cake. These are the options on Scott Hove’s website, While I’m suddenly a click away from exploring playful light drawings and paintings that mix urban architecture with floral-inspired flourishes, it’s the rope sculptures that originally drew me to Hove’s work. Taking full advantage of his access to the Port of Oakland’s very big ships, Scott has done some crazy shit with very big ropes. The massive knots that keep tankers from drifting back out to sea have been seen in Oakland galleries, as have nest-like installations, multiple strand star knots, even a tension installation made of rope, twine and bone that tied together a recent labyrinth exhibit at Oakland’s Lobot Gallery.

Which is why finding out that Scott more than dabbles with cakes is somehow disturbing: With Hove’s touch, delicate things like frosting, cherries and many-layered cakes take on a uniquely sinister attitude—and give new meaning to the phrase “sweet tooth.”

Indeed, there have been multiple cake sightings in the East Bay scene of late. This summer at RPS gallery, artists Tara Goe and Katie Byron installed a temporary Cake Shop where they hosted cake decorating, took special requests for dream-cake designs (some of which were fulfilled), and closed the shop with a cake walk. Apparently, cup cakes are a preferred way to get cavities in NYC (Amy Sedaris makes some pretty good ones, I hear). And now, Scott Hove has his own take on this pastry craze by adding black frosting to the compulsory pinks and whites, elements of architecture that may be informed by his Oakland digs—and really sharp teeth. My favorite of Scott’s cake sculptures is a stack of rectangular cakes that, when hung on the wall, opens into a freaking ferocious wolf mouth, complete with canines, tongue and (the topper) cherries for its scary eyes. It’s called “Bite Cake.” And I totally don’t want one. A bite, I mean. —Jen Loy 

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