Artist Creates “Quilts” from Mass-Produced Items in Unauthorized Big-Box Store Installations


Photographer Carson Davis Brown is known for his guerrilla installations he creates inside big-box stores. Many of them involve combining objects of the same kind or color in fascinating ways. He then photographs them and leaves the artworks for shoppers to discover — though we would hardly call the installations discreet. Recently, Brown has been sharing a new series he calls New American Quilts.

This new work finds the artist rearranging items on a store shelf in colorful patterns — creating something like a traditional quilt, but with mass-produced items. The project won the artist a VSCO Artist Initiative grant.

New American Quilts (NAQ) is a site-specific installation and photographic project simulating branded edifice and the promise of abundance, inspired by the tradition of American quilting and the performative technique of détournement,” Brown writes on his website. “Adopting the formal conventions of the big box store as constraint, the patchworks are built on-site from found materials and products. These highly geometric arrangements are made without permission and left until disassembled by consumers and staff. Photographs of the patchworks are then ‘woven’ into blankets with the assistance of W@lm@rt’s personalized gifts department.” You can follow the project on Brown’s VSCO journal.

Take a closer look in our gallery.