The Complex Guide to Bodega Art

The Pancakes of Gibraltar

Artist: Flatbush Avenue Deli & Grocery

Pancakes, as it’s more commonly known among connoisseurs and collectors, is widely regarded as the prototypical example of bodega art. Why? It adheres to the traditional rules of bodega art to a microscopic degree. To the untrained eye, all collections of foodstuffs on convenience store walls will constitute bodega art. Please, expand your vision. Post-Neo-Modernist bodega art should meet the following requirements:

1. The foods depicted should have no relationship to their size or scale in the real world. Notice that in this piece, the stack of pancakes, iced coffee, and lettuce leaf have similar dimensions.

2. The foods depicted must be drawn from a variety of meals, and with no discernible pattern. Ideally, breakfast, lunch and dinner will all be represented. This is referred to as culinary unity.

3. The last rule is not a rule per sé, but a feeling, a notion, the viewer of bodega art must be overcome by. All bodega art must flow. There must be a cohesion amongst the chaos. As noted critic Alexander Burkat put it, “You know it when you see it.” Which is what porn is like.

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