For the first three years, the Peeps diorama contest was helmed by Style reporter Dan Zak, whose wit and insight contributed greatly to the contest’s success. While Dan’s now off chasing art abusers and making the blogosphere more interesting, he offered up his thoughts on the progression of the Peeps contest since it debuted in 2007.
Question: How has the Peeps contest evolved since it started in 2007?
Answer: It’s gotten bigger. And better. It’s attracted volumes of skilled artisans. And it has a reputation now: Either create a masterpiece, or don’t bother entering. It’s the Westminster Kennel Club of Peeps diorama contests.
Q: What aspect of the contest do you most look forward to each year?
A: Listening to the finalists explain, in their own somewhat-sane words, how they achieved a superior level of craftsmanship.
Q: If you had to make a diorama for this year’s contest, what topic would you have chosen and why?
A: Maybe an Elizabeth Taylor tribute? A boozy tableau of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Peep?” might be amusing.
Q: Describe the one diorama — the Perfect Storm of sugar, if you will — that you’d love to see among the entries.
A: I’d like to see a really excellent tribute to Japan and the horrors it’s suffered since the earthquake and tsunami last month. It’d be very tricky — since Peeps are naturally funny and/or absurd — but I think it could be done.
Q: Can you remember any favorite past entries?
A: I don’t think the winner of the very first contest has been matched yet, in terms of precision, quality and attention to detail. That was the “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” diorama. Both the scope and the details were astounding. Also, from time to time, I think about the utter weirdness of the “Defenestration of Prague” diorama from 2009.