I am becoming obsessed with yarnbombing. Of all the compound words in today’s lexicon, yarnbombing is my current favorite. It’s like mixing whimsy with violence. It shouldn’t work, and yet it does. It suggests a tactile, textile party. And Poland-born, New York-based, Olek is the queen of the (yarn) ball.
When I last saw Olek, she was bombing a bull on Wall Street to ring in the new year. I just watched the video again and felt re-infected with the joy of her ephemeral undertaking. Well, Olek is back, and she has installed a model of her own heavily crocheted apartment at the Christopher Henry Gallery in New York. The exhibit happens to be called Knitting is for Pus****!, which is sort of false advertising because my cats would tear the shit out of this art.
This statement by Olek really gets to the heart of what I love about obsessive compulsive art:
A loop after a loop. Hour after hour my madness becomes crochet. Life and art are inseparable. I crochet everything that enters my space. There is the unraveling, the ephemeral part of my work that never lets me forget about the limited life of the art object and art concept.
It’s like she has the knitter’s equivalent of hypergraphia. It’s also an exorcism of sorts for Olek. When it comes to crocheting text messages from former lovers, she says: “They can be forgiven once they are crocheted.” The installation is on view through May 28th. Next year, it moves to The Smithsonian. You can also purchase it for a million dollars, which breaks down to $90K for the crocheted apartment and $10K for a warehouse of Febreze. Fascinating stuff. Click through for more images.