People who encountered a vending machine dispensing free compliments in the Meatpacking District or a group of women knitting and unraveling white aprons in Union Square over the weekend might have considered them part of New York City’s continually anomalous street life, or felt an odd pang of déjà vu.
Visiting Collective Design amid all of Frieze Week’s art fairs is doubly refreshing: it’s an unabashed celebration of beautiful objects and you can touch (almost) all of them.
A New York–based artist trying to raise awareness about the ocean’s health is being accused of damaging it. Agata Oleksiak, the yarn artist better-known as Olek, traveled to Cancun earlier this month for an installation highlighting the ocean’s declining shark population, according to La Jornada.
News has been bubbling about yarn-bombing sensation Olek’s recent legal troubles in London, but the situation still remains unclear. On Sunday, December 11, the artist sent out a Facebook message to a few friends, claiming that she will spend the holiday season “fighting for her freedom” and directing them to the site Olek’s Appeal for further details. Cat Weaver, who has worked with Olek, and is a Hyperallergic contributor and blogger at The Art Machine, confirmed the news with Olek over Skype and posted the FB message as well as a statement from Olek’s lawyer, Paul Morris, that provides some clues as to what the artist is facing …
Is the anything Olek won’t crochet? Is anyone or thing safe from her maniacal need to cover things up? Another question we’re pondering, do we like Bernard Rosenthal’s “Alamo” (1967) better this way? Hmmm …
“Something I Guarantee You’ve Never Done Before” was the title of the Facebook invitation I got. “Hmm.” I thought. The invitation was somewhat secretive, but the link that was provided confirmed what I suspected. Being somewhat familiar with Olek’s work from some of the press she’s gotten, I knew it would involve spending time in a full-body crocheted costume. A few weeks later after determining I didn’t have anything better to do (and I mean that in the best possible way), I decided to go for it. Crocheting is a very occasional hobby of mine. I’ve always had an affinity for it over knitting, which seems to be the hipper of these crafts, and I wanted to get more familiar with Olek’s work after her last show titled KnittingisforPus*****.
Filled with glitter, hair, shoes and Cher, New York Art Residency & Studios (NARS) Foundation’s exhibition Civilization and its Discontents felt like a trip into a drag queen’s subconscious, which would normally excite me. However, serious ideas behind the show, including its connection to Freud, bogged down what could have been a fun exhibition.
SCOPE is the art fair that many people like to disparage but this year’s installment was quite good and worth a trip.
Housed in a large tent near the Art Miami and Red Dot art fairs and, as always, attached to Art Asia, the greater prominence ensured more foot traffic than last year (two gallerists told me sales and traffic were better this year) and the lofty space made it much more conducive to looking at art.
On July 8, I covered the opening of the T Minus 20 exhibit at Christopher Henry Gallery, which hosted a huge group of artsy folks, veteran New Yorkers, and hipsters, who all showed up to support of an array of designers show off their their t-shirt, bag, accessory creations.
Among those included in the show were Christopher Lee Sauvé, Scooter LaForge, Olek, Brian Kenny, Inbred Hybrid Collective, Gio Black Peter, Marcos Chin, Fernanda Cohen, Christopher Makos, Nick Hooker, SUPERM (Slava Mogutin + Brian Kenny), Desi Santiago, Julia Oldham, Christian Weber, J. G. Zimmerman and more.