Checkout Art: Grocery-Store Products Sorted Only by Color


Stores script your experience from start to finish, first step in the door to you leave with receipt in hand. Extensive research (to maximize high-yield purchases) goes into every product placement. Layout engineers consider each square inch of shelving space in monetary terms. So buying stuff … is it your choice or in their control?

This photography series from Marco Ugolini and?Pedro Motta seek to subvert the built-in power structure of top-down organization, rearranging everyday items into minimalist blacks and whites, warm reds and yellows, greens and blues and more.

While there are no absolutes or universals, patterns and relationships begin to emerge from each basket – white leans toward kitchen essentials and basic supplies; black chocolate bars and high-end hairsprays hints at elegance and indulgence; most colors show a mix of packaged meals or ingredients, fresh produce, drinks and desserts (though blend trends toward hygiene and other products requiring higher degrees of consumer trust, for instance).

Art, design, statement, or somewhere in between, the photographers emphasize that nothing so arranged was bought – but leave out whether they replaced each item on the shelf. One can only hope they were not left to low-wage retail clerks who to clean up, regardless (or if so: that they were paid overtime for the trouble).

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