A while back I came across these amazing floral-embroidered plastic bags via Pinterest, and without doing any actual research I let the caption tell me they were by artist Josh Blackwell, who also works with plastic bags. I now know that these are actually the work of artist Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown. I even posted a picture on IG tagging the wrong artist! So laying any confusion to rest, here are the works of two very separate artists working with similar materials.
‘El Barrio Bodega’, 2013, by Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown
Embroidered corner-store grocery bags. Rescued from the gutter; blowing down the street like city tumbleweed. I reclaim and elevate what once was discarded by creating embellished art objects. Growing up in Brooklyn and Harlem I’d visit my block’s bodega daily, with pennies in hand, and leave with priceless treasures. More than just bags, they reflect a sense of pride for my neighborhood and are a symbol of my cultural identity. (From the artist’s website).
Thinking about the idea of consumer responsibility led me to begin collecting plastic bags from kitchen cupboards and city streets six years ago. What began as an exercise in environmental conservation evolved into a studio practice combining aspects of painting, sculpture, and installation.
Plastic bags are the second most common form of litter in the world after cigarette butts. Their degraded status and ubiquitous presence are fascinating to me, attempting to balance between convenience and excess. Quickly used and then discarded, their textured surfaces wear the remains of physical activity like dirty laundry left on the floor. The bags attempt to redress their impoverished status with the addition of colorful embroidery in geometric patterns. (From the artist’s website).