a dedicated space for curiosity

Bag Beauty: Splash of Red

In About All Publications, About Image Works on 12/31/2009 at 18:20

Bag beauty struck me on Boxing Day. I was people-watching on Granville Street when I shifted my focus from faces to the shopping bags people were holding. I simultaneously wondered what was in them, saw them as icons of consumerism, and reveled in their beauty. They appeared to me as sculpture, a kaleidoscope of color, poetry. I asked their holders to stop and pose for me.

Three photos from that day are on display in the Red Gallery at Splash of Red: Asbury Park’s Literary Arts Magazine.

Dylan Emerick-Brown, editor-in-chief,  says inspiration for the magazine title comes from several things, including: “the blood and passion that goes into only the most skillfully crafted art” and “great work that stands out just like a splash of red.”

Here’s the direct link: Red Gallery / Karyn Eisler
When you enter the gallery, click on a photo; when it expands, follow the arrow >


  1. pop culture and bags of beauty?

    I gotcha “wink” lol

  2. fascinating images. my first thought was: all the colorful freshly filled shopping bags, they are vessels of good hopes. and maybe it’s no suprise, that “good” and “goods” are so closely related by wording.

    now, revisiting the images, i keep wondering what an “Anti Social” shop might sell.

    • Thanks Dorothee. Such an interesting word connection that you mention. I hadn’t considered it.

      I think the ‘Anti Social’ bag might be from a skateboard shop, complete with a gallery. Here’s the link I found:

      http://www.antisocialshop.com/

      ‘Anti Social’, where are you? Is this your bag?

  3. Yes . that is us .
    Antisocial Skateboard Shop .
    2337 Main Street Vancouver BC .
    the logo was created for us in
    2002 by the lovely Michael Leon .
    and ES shoes made us those bags as a present
    when we opened..

  4. The shopping bag piece is wonderful. My kind of cultural anthropology. It’s interesting how the academic in you can be enlisted to legitimize picture-taking whenever something catches your eye, and that people are so willingly bend to the “higher purpose”. In a way, I think younger or “cosmopolitan” people would almost take it for granted that your taking pics of their shopping bags is an important form of cultural participation (if only along the lines of participating in “the ecstacy of communication”, as I think Baudrillard called it many moons ago). Many of my son’s friends seem almost duty-bound to routinely publish photos of any small event on Facebook, for instance. All part of an endless train of testimonials.

    • Matthew,
      Thank-you. In hindsight, thinking of the ‘photo-taking’, or ‘data-collection’ process, not one of the 10 or 15 people I stopped on the street asked who I was, why I wanted to take the photo, or what my plan for it was when I was done. When I asked, “Mind if I take a photo of your shopping bags?” they automatically stopped and struck a struck a pose. Noone refused me. I took the photo, and after I was finished, said, “Thanks so much.” They walked away. No questions asked. Not one. It really is interesting.

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