NYC Crocheter Olek’s Gallery Show: “The Bad Artists Imitate, The Great Artists Steal”


It’s been an Olek kind of week! After she made the Village Voice a present, Jen and I headed to the opening of her show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery last night. It’s called “The Bad Artists Imitate, The Great Artists Steal,” a variation on a Pablo Picasso quote appropriated by the street artist Banksy. In one piece hanging on one of the gallery’s walls (and shown in the photo to the right), Olek has crocheted those words into a backdrop of camouflage, attributed them to Picasso, crossed out his name, attributed them to Banksy, and then crossed out his name and attributed them to herself. Check out our photos after the jump.

How we knew we were in the right place:

There was a real person under all that yarn (photo below). We wondered aloud about his comfort-level, then we realized he probably heard everything we said about him. That was awkward. At one point, when this crocheted fellow moved to sit in the hairdryer chair shown in the following photo, someone sat on him and posed for a picture. That was even more awkward.

Also a real person.

One of these figures is alive. One is not. Your guess.

Olek also gave herself credit for other quotes from artists like sculptor Auguste Rodin, actress Marilyn Monroe, and pop star Madonna, whose words are displayed in the photo below.

Another homage to Banksy.

Olek’s boxing gloves: crocheted and ready for action.

And, the one and only Olek herself.