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Around Town : Folk Art at the Brooklyn Flea

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My Saturday morning ritual usually starts with my cat, Ghost, swirling around and head butting me at the crack of dawn, a cup of coffee, and then a short walk from my apartment to the Brooklyn Flea, Fort Greene's Flea Market.

I rarely have something in mind to buy.  I allow my eyes to scan over the random wash up of objects, tools, furniture and clothing, all abundant at the flea.  I am not a collector.   I am more of a curator, juxtaposing objects that have no immediate connection but when placed together create an alchemical reaction.  Friends have referred to my apartment as "the land of misfit objects."

Stitched Book
I am often drawn to one off objects that people have made in their spare time.  Folk art pieces made with love and curiosity.

This past weekend I found a copy of Friedrich Nietzsche's "Also Sprach Zarathurstra" cut into 14 segments and hand stitched together through a series of drilled holes.  It is a simple yet complicated idea and beautifully crafted.  I love to find objects like this.  They make you wonder about the person who made them and the determination it takes to create.   The vendor at the flea told me this book came from an estate auction in upstate New York.  Supposedly the man who lived in this house had boxes full of artworks like these.

stitched book detail
Like a quilt or a sampler there is a sense of peace in the repetition of crafting something.  I imagine that is what drives people to craft in the first place.

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