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A grocery store where everything is made of plastic bags is coming to Times Square

A grocery store where everything is made of plastic bags is coming to Times Square
Photograph: Maria Baranova, courtesy Times Square Arts

There’s a new food market opening soon at the Crossroads of the World, and no, it ain't another Wegmans: It’s an art installation titled The Plastic Bag Store, in which everything filling the shelves—produce, meat, boxes of cereal, baked goods and even packaged sushi rolls—is made of discarded single-use plastic bags and containers. It’s the brainchild of Brooklyn artist Robin Frohardt, and the show is meant to coincide with New York State’s ban on plastic bags, which goes into effect on March 1st. Free to visitors, the store will take up space at 20 Times Square, the same building at 47th Street and 7th Avenue that’s home to Hershey’s Chocolate World.

Photograph: Maria Baranova, courtesy Times Square Arts

Frohardt’s recycled renderings of grocery goods are surprisingly life-like. Her tomatoes and bananas, for example, could be easily mistaken for the real thing at first glance, thanks to small details like the product labels she applies to them.

Photograph: Maria Baranova, courtesy Times Square Arts

While The Plastic Bag Store may put you in mind of British artist Lucy Sparrow's food sculptures made of felt, Frohardt’s darkly comic work isn’t simply an exercise in trompe l’oeil; it’s a cautionary tale about the deleterious impact of plastic on the environment—a theme that Frohardt will hammer home in a series of puppet performances which will pose the question, What will future generations think about all of this crap we’ve left behind?

Photograph: Maria Baranova, courtesy Times Square Arts

The Plastic Bag Stores opens March 18th and will be on view until April 12. You can find further details, as well as a schedule of performances, here.

Photograph: Maria Baranova, courtesy Times Square Arts

 

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