No longer the realm of bored seniors and spinster aunts, yarn boming has taken crochet from the doldrums of cultural obscurity to the forefront of public art. Poland-born and Brooklyn-based Olek (real name Agata Oleksiak) has forced her way into the art and commercial spheres through this new genre. São Paolo and Samsung have both commissioned her recently (she says she needed the latter job to help her out of some unspecified legal trouble). For the Brazilian city, Olek created Chrocheted Jacaré, coating an immense aligator-shaped playground in colorful yarn. With the help of a few assistants, she imbued the steel and stone environment with a sense of adventure.
The Polish artist is featured in 40 Under 40: Craft Futures at the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery. The D.C. Gallery will show Olek’s Knitting is for Pus****. The piece, previously displayed in New York’s Christopher Henry Gallery, features an apartment entirely covered (including its residents) in yarn crocheted with text and entrancing patterns.
Olek also (allegedly) yarn bombed the National Academy of Sciences Albert Einstein Memorial in pink and purple with dashes of black and teal: a lighthearted work that would perhaps make the eccentric scientist chuckle.