Crocheting is a sleepy, dainty craft, which is why the installation artist Olek's creations are so eye-popping. Olek, who was born in Poland but lives in the United States, turns crocheting into a vibrant, public spectacle, using countless loops of colorful yarn to recast objects. Her current work, on display in Lodz, Poland, through August 19, is an entire steam locomotive, plus two freight cars, which have been covered (down to the axles) in a skin of brightly colored crochet. Olek, who has previously given the same treatment to the Charging Bull sculpture on Wall Street, completed the piece in two marathon days of work with the help of four assistants. The guerilla-pacing adds to the charm of Olek's (authorized) work, which she calls, "Deadly Romance." Rather than linger on the painstaking effort behind each individual stitch, it's fun to think of a decadent bacterial strain (or maybe the touch of a magic wand), which swarmed over the train at night and left it radiant in the morning.
Images courtesy of Olek.
The author is solely responsible for the content.
Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.
Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.
Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.