Will hobo art become fashionable as a post-recession way of life?

Matthew Lusk, Untitled Hobo, 2009 via post.thing.net

Matthew Lusk, Untitled Hobo, 2009 via post.thing.net

An excerpt from “NADA’s Country Affair,” written by Alice Gregory on October 21, 2009 for IDIOM. http://idiommag.com/2009/10/nada-at-county-affair/

Six consecutive vacant storefronts at 395 Flatbush Extension in Downtown Brooklyn housed the New Art Dealers Alliance’s (NADA) Country Affair, a witty, metropolitan take on the autumnal festivals traditional in rural communities this time of year. Typical fair festivities – caricatures, bobbing for apples, fortune telling – were given urbane interpretations.

For $1, Leidy Churchman offered me an apple to dip in black, latex paint in lieu of caramel. I was told that the apple would shrink as it rotted and the paint would wrinkle up accordingly. I pictured a shrunken head and happily toted the relic around for the rest of the afternoon, twirling it dry on a skewer until it was velvety and matte. When I went across the street for a Pastrami on Rye at Junior’s, an old Polish woman sitting next to me asked what it was. “An apple dipped in paint,” I chirped. She furrowed her brow: “But why? What are you going to do with it? You should probably throw it in the garbage.” Probably.

On my way back in, I grabbed a handful of candy corn from Dana Gentile’s handmade card stand, got my “Watteau Cards” read, browsed a pop-up junk shop curated by Jeffrey Tranchell, and had my portrait drawn by Liz Hirsch and water-colored in by Joshua Smith.

Given the time, I could have had a penny professionally cleaned and polished or participated in constructing an alien landscape from tin foil. Given guts, I could have surrendered myself over to Jennifer Sullivan who was offering free avant-garde makeovers, “sponsored by Bumble & Bumble,” which wins the award for snarkiest quip of the day.

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