Nicoletta de la Brown Embroiders the Most Beautiful Bodega Bags

Nicoletta de la Brown - embroidery on bags

I first fea­tured one of these black, embroi­dered plas­tic bags a cou­ple of months ago and wasn’t sure of who the artist was. Thanks to the pow­er of the inter­net and its detec­tives (name­ly Kris­ten Kief­fer,) I found out that they were craft­ed by Nico­let­ta de la Brown. She’s now a Bal­ti­more-based artist that grew up in New York. Here’s a short state­ment about her series, El Bar­rio Bode­ga:  

From my series of 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.

The jux­ta­po­si­tion of dis­card­ed objects and col­or­ful adorn­ment is par­tial­ly what makes these pieces so beau­ti­ful. Bags like this are often hasti­ly dis­card­ed, while the embroi­dery on them takes a lot of time (and patience). I love the col­li­sion of two dif­fer­ent worlds.

All images via Nicoletta’s Bak­er Artist Award page.


Nicoletta de la Brown - embroidery on bags Nicoletta de la Brown - embroidery on bags Nicoletta de la Brown - embroidery on bags