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New York's Maccarone gallery buzzed with hipsters on a sugar high at last Thursday night's opening of Paul McCarthy's chocolate factory installation. Attendees gaped through glass walls at professional chocolate-makers churning out 10-inch high chocolate renderings of McCarthy's "Santa" sculpture, which depicts St. Nick holding a Christmas tree-esque "butt plug." Completed Santas headed down a conveyor belt toward a crew of Craigslist-recruited packagers, most of whom were artists of the starving variety. Sporting brightly colored aprons as they nestled each chocolate into a bed of shredded ArtForum magazines, the workers looked the part of Santa's helpers—although the gallery drew the line at having them wear elf hats (powers-that-be briefly debated the costume choice). Just before closing, the gallery had sold 477 Santas (at $100 a pop) and plans to continue unloading them seven days a week until Christmas Eve.

Read W's article about the factory here: Paul and the Chocolate Factory

Portrait by Daniel Hennessy