Meet the Makers: Crochet Graffiti Artist
In this Meet the Makers blog series, we will feature an artist that, quite simply, makes something. Drawing inspiration from custom works handcrafted in various media, we travel beyond the pieces by diving into the minds of the creative makers themselves.
Today, we feature our interview with Polish artist Agata Oleksiak, also known as “Olek”, a street artist who uses crochet as her medium. Olek manipulates public objects by covering them in a cloak of crochet. Her work is influenced by anything from found objects to the emotions stirred up by film. Olek describes that life and art are inseparable; everyday experiences affect her work profoundly, and vice versa. One of her projects includes a crocheted version of the New York Times front page, scaled to cover an entire building facade.
GPI Design: What (3) words best describe your work?
Agata Oleksiak: Loop – Ephemerality – Interconnected
GPI: What compels you to create with this particular medium?
Olek: Then one day, a skein of yarn struck me in the head like magic dust from an undiscovered planet. I looked up at the stars and picked up a crochet hook.
GPI: What is your biggest constraint in the creative process?
GPI: What would your 5 year old former self say about your work now? And what do you hope your future 90 year old self will say about your current work?
Olek: My 5 year old self would say, “Go Girl!” My 90 year old self would say, “That it was worth to be stubborn and not compromise the work.”
GPI: What other maker would you most like to collaborate with?
Olek: Some of the artists I would love to collaborate have unfortunately passed away. But I would still love to work with Marina Abramovic. She has always influenced my world as a woman and an artist. She is powerful, strong, beautiful, talented and deeply committed to her craft. I admire how she created her own movement and sacrificed so much for her vision – her sheer self-control and drive is incomparable. I have always loved her work, exploring the human form and collective and individual identity. She is truly an inspiration for many artists to come. I absolutely love her.
GPI: What do you think the future of creation/creativity holds (for you, and the artistic world as a whole)?
Olek: I cannot speak for the world or others but artists need to be activists.
GPI: What does your work space look like right now? Send us a selfie of you in your creative arena!
Many thanks to Agata Oleksiak for the insight into her craft. Stay tuned to our next Meet the Makers interview coming up in two weeks! The interviews will publish every other Tuesday throughout the remainder of the year, focusing on a wide variety of makers, which has us truly redefining what it means to create.
View this maker’s work: OlekNYC