When walking into the Oddities Flea Market, guests are walking into another world. A fascinating and macabre one. Sinister red lights illuminated the inside of the Globe theatre in Downtown Los Angeles and someone in a dark cloak and a skull mask with giant horns stood tall on the balcony and overlooked the crowd. They held onto other cloaked people tethered by their necks, who in an artsy and wicked way moved about the balcony.
Along with the cloaked man, who later in the day walked his prisoners through the aisles of the market like hellish animals, taxidermied animals and skeletons instantly greet the guests. Whether someone is simply looking to make their October a spooky one, or their heart eternally admires the macabre, this is a unique and enjoyable experience.
Ryan Matthew Cohn and Regina Marie Cohn are the founders and curators of the Oddities Flea Market which makes its way from Brooklyn, New York a couple times a year. They provide the public with an opportunity to shop through an expansive collection of taxidermy, dark decor, anatomical curiosities, jewelry, art and so much more.
“My wife and I personally handpick every single person who takes part in our flea market, so everyone selling is someone we think adds something unique and important,” said Cohn, in an interview with John Seroff of the ‘What we should do’ blog.
This flea market is not the average flea market, it surely sets itself apart from any other. Over 70 otherworldly vendors gathered and showcased what they had to offer. Whether it be searching for a freakshow themed art piece, a human ribcage priced at $600 (or simply a human radius for $50) or a taxidermied fox head with a bowtie, there is everything to fulfill wonderfully creepy dreams. However, this may not be the best flea market for the faint of heart.
“We do have the occasional attendees who are dumbstruck when they walk in because they thought it was just a regular flea market and all of a sudden they are face-to-face with glass bats and palm readers,” said Cohn to Seroff.
Lots of effort goes into the products that the vendors present. Bryan Lawrence, creator of Creepy Candles, has a range of anatomy themed candles such as a hand that bleeds as it melts, spine candles, brain candles and more. Lawrence explained that he draws inspiration for his work from his interests, for example, the bleeding hands were inspired by the Indiana Jones melting nazis scene.
“Molds, lots of molds, molding is the hardest part. The science behind candle making is tough to figure out. [Making sure that] certain things don’t have bubbles, its gnarly, it’s really temperature sensitive. I thought it would be super easy, just pour wax, but its not,” said Lawrence about the difficulty of the creation of his candles.
Karen “Miso” Hsiao, the creator Art of Miso, designed beautiful miniature coffin and animal figurines and much more.
“I sculpt everything first, then I cast it and then I paint it,” Hsiao said about her process. “A lot of my animal sculptures are [inspired] from my dog, I got a rescue chihuahua, and he’s so cute, and he looked like all kinds of different animals so I started using him.”
Hsiao has been doing conventions for over 10 years, including Comic Con in San Diego and Designer Con, but this was her first time at the Oddities Flea Market. Hsiao described enjoying the experience and said her favorite part was meeting new people.
Each vendor at the Oddities Flea Market produces interesting and uniquely creepy art and products, many of which have spooky backgrounds. It drew a wickedly huge crowd and is continually growing each year.
While the Oddities Flea Market is returning to Brooklyn after Oct. 6, catch the next Los Angeles one next year.
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