In big, gritty cities, 'bombing' things with soft yarns is all the rage. From crocheted bikes to knitted plant pockets, "yarn bombing" is a way for citydwellers and guerilla artists alike to make their mark with something else other than spray paint, while also livening up an otherwise drab cityscape.
Usually these yarn interventions are small-scale and easily overlooked. But the latest escapade from Polish-born and NYC-based street artist Agata Oleksiak (aka Olek) is anything but, involving the one of the city's best-known public sculptures, the Astor Place cube. Here's the covert stitch-in, shot by filmmaker Eric Brown during the early morning hours on October 3:
Brown gives some details on the operation:
After working with Olek on a PBS Off Book episode, [Olek] asked me if I would shoot an upcoming project. Once she told me what it was, I said sure! Then she told me she would be doing the work at 4:30am. :)
It's 8:52am right now in New York as I write this, and I shot the video from 4:30am to around 4:50am. Rapid turnaround, early and often. I hope you enjoy seeing Olek and her crew at work, and if you know New York, you'll get a kick out of seeing the "Astor Place Cube" all dressed up.
Oh, and if you look closely, you'll see that the sentence crocheted onto the covering is: "I'm still proud of what I do for a living".
Unfortunately, the psychedelic-coloured sweater was snipped down minutes after the final installation later on the same day, as Olek updated via Twitter.
As Olek recently told the New York Times, she doesn't characterize her work as "yarn bombing" and prefers to call it simply "art," adding that "not everyone's work deserves to be in public." Her take on how crochet transcends mere domesticity:
I think crochet, the way I create it, is a metaphor for the complexity and interconnectedness of our body and its systems and psychology. The connections are stronger as one fabric as opposed to separate strands, but, if you cut one, the whole thing will fall apart. Relationships are complex and greatly vary situation to situation. They are developmental journeys of growth, and transformation. Time passes, great distances are surpassed and the fabric which individuals are composed of compiles and unravels simultaneously.
Of course, the Astor Place cube isn't the first public space this yarn-obsessed artist has hit: her previous crocheted works include the Wall Street's "Charging Bull" and other various crocheted cars, bikes, pianos and other surprising projects that you can see on her website.
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