Vibrant and painstakingly executed, the crochet installations from Polish-born artist Olek offer striking embellishment to familiar spots. Blanketing NYC landmarks such as Wall Street’s Charging Bull and Alamo (the Astor Place cube), Olek’s unmistakable work has thrilled residents and tourists alike by adding new dimension to classic monuments. Her latest undertaking, The End Is Far, is a sight-specific installation at Jonathan LeVine Gallery that brings together clever messaging, intricate detail and morbid iconography.
Camouflage is seemingly the artist’s weapon of choice for the background patterns, with doilies and crocheted script decorating the surface. Representations of skulls, sickles, doves and boxing gloves carry the narrative of the site-specific creation, which riffs off of events from the past year. Adding to the buzz at the lively opening were a pair of live models wearing crochet mermaid outfits.
Olek exploits the space of the gallery well, creating an isolated environment of yarn and spectacular color. Undoubtedly, her experience recreating her studio apartment in yarn for the Smithsonian’s 40 Under 40: Craft Futures exhibition provided the necessary background for this solo show.
The End Is Far opened last Saturday, 23 February 2013, and will run at Jonathan LeVine Gallery through 23 March 2013. Also worth a look is Parra’s Tracy Had a Hard Sunday in the adjacent space.