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Behold Candytopia, an Enormous Candy Art Exhibit Built for the ’Gram

It’s coming to an Instagram feed near you

Nearby attractions like SFMOMA and the Museum of Ice Cream, look out, because Candytopia, the city’s latest Instagram-oriented attraction, opens today. Visitors to this 16,000-square-foot saccharine spectacle can tour a dozen rooms filled with highly photographable (and hypothetically edible) art, like candy “paintings” of the Mona Lisa and a dragon sculpture made from 360-pounds of gummies. But don’t lick the walls: Instead, ticket holders feast on free samples (hello, product placement) from candy brands like Lindt, Nestle, and Tootsie.

Those samples might be free — and the photo opportunities priceless — but the tickets cost $34 for adults, $26 for kids 4-12 (it’s free for children 3 and under). And they’re hard to come by: Candytopia is already sold out for days to come and on most weekends during its run, which lasts through November. That could well be extended — the Museum of Ice Cream, a similar romp through a Willy Wonka-inspired wonderland, has renewed its run several times and is still ushering customers into its sprinkle pit across the street from Candytopia.

Outside Candytopia, located at 767 Market Street
The 6,000 square foot exhibit is the third Candytopia

This isn’t the first rodeo for Candytopia, either. The company’s Santa Monica run just wrapped up and its New York City exhibition just began. The business was co-founded by Jackie Sorkin (who runs a candy-themed LA events company and stars in a TLC show called Candy Queen!) and CEO John Goodman, a retail oriented businessperson who was CEO of the pre-teen mall staple Wet Seal. With Candytopia, Goodman is going all-in on the future of “retail experiences,” a new category of dystopian brand exercises in which customers pay to participate in advertisements.

Zac Hartog, a Hollywood set designer and fabricator, is behind Candytopia’s eye-catching installations. Highlights include a “marshmallow” pool (made with pieces of foam) and a see-saw version of the Golden Gate Bridge. Each piece lists the number of candies involved in its creation, the number of hours it took to build, and its sugar content. For example, a life-sized hammerhead shark required 11,800 candy pieces, took 289 hours to make, and contains 6,700 grams of sugar. That’s one big toothache.

A candy unicorn, labeled with its contents and production
These unicorn pigs shoot confetti from their rear ends
A confetti-shooting leaf blower
An underwater themed room at Candytopia
Look closely at this mythical beast
There are a dozen rooms inside the exhibition
A room with giant beach balls
Customer can scan a QR code, and photos from the tour will be sent to them
A hammerhead shark ready to eat candy
Candy seahorses in the underwater area
Free Pixy Stix treasure
A steam punk-style area of the exhibition

Candytopia guides usher guests through the rooms

A terrifying beast made from gummies
Look upon its reptilian eye
Patricia Chang
This chocolate knight took 172 hours to make, but stands no chance against a candy dragon
Patricia Chang
A more relaxed area within Candytopia
Diving into the marshmallow pool is illegal
Marshmallows in the marshmallow pool
Swimming laps in the marshmallow pool
Leonardo Da Vinci would surely approve
Free samples of candy
A candy elephant in the gift shop area
The Candytopia logo
Patricia Chang
A customer scans a QR code to get photos from the exhibit
Descending into the depths of Candyland
More candy treasures
A candy garden
A candy bust
Ron Conway and others watch as candy prepares to descend
Ron Conway and others take candy Lindt truffles from a descending clock
Patricia Chang
Candy samples, but please, just take one
A candy machine
A candy cat
Candy tubes
A mushroom candy bench
The gift shop area for more candy purchases
A room of optical illusions
An appropriate homage to Warhol’s commentary on commerce and art
The Golden State Warriors trophy rendered in candy
A portrait room in Candytopia
The riddle of the candy sphinx
A candy version of the famous sculpture “The Thinker” by August Rodin, and a candy portrait of Snoop Dogg
A candy portrait of the great commercial artist Steve Jobs
The face of a sphinx made from candy
Paintings including a painting of emoji made from candy
Rules for the marshmallow pit
Backstroke in the marhmallow pit
Seats on a Golden Gate Bridge see-saw
Artwork on loan from Madame Tussauds
A close up of a wax figure of the late Bay Area comedian Robin Williams as the character Mork
A see-saw modeled on the Golden Gate Bridge

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