Obsession + Art

Olek is a Polish-born artist who has chosen to “crochet everything that enters her space.” A strange decision perhaps for a graduate of a cultural studies degree, but even stranger are her motives, “in order to do two things at once: watch movies and make art.”

Olek’s artists’ statement: “A loop after a loop. Hour after hour my madness becomes crochet. Life and art are inseparable. (via)

I LOVE obsessive artists! Olek’s work must be amazing to see in person. I love how she has taken a craft associated with prim old ladies and made it crazy and vaguely sinister.

I love people with grand obsessions. As long as they’re not aimed at me, of course. Werner Herzog movies, stories of psychotic jealousy, people who devote their lives in pursuit of some maniacal passion, it’s all good. I like artists whose work verges on OCD.

I shared my fascination with the brilliant, obsessive Liza Lou here.   And there are some high resolution images of Olek’s work over here.

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27 Responses to Obsession + Art

  1. Laura says:

    Herzog is my dream man

  2. ellio100 says:

    amazing! I just started knitting to ease my conscience as i watch x factor. last week i tried to knit whilst watching strictly come dancing. There are now two holes in my scarf – one for Anne Widdecombe and one for Gavin Henson.
    I need an easier tv-hobby, TV has upped its game.

  3. Herzog is amazing the most obsessive film maker ever Fitzcarraldo is one of my favourite films. The crochet thing is brilliant – sinister and light hearted too in some ways!

  4. Desiree says:

    Gorgeous colours and designs – even the gimp costumes are purty.

  5. m8 says:

    OMG! This is the person responsible for the bicycle that I pass every day on my way to the subway! Saw it last winter and it’s been slowly disintegrating ever since…. I always wondered about who would do this….Awesome! Thanks Sister Wolf!

  6. this is SO cool! and that outfit reminds me of Leigh Bowery

  7. I love OCD artists too. Herzog is brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Nickie Frye says:

    WOAH! Very cool.

    I heard about a “street gang” that was going around crocheting (or was it knitting?) all kinds of things around town, like street signs, fire hydrants, etc. It was their form of tagging & local townspeople were confounded. Wish I could remember more. It was in Craft Magazine. Anyone know what I’m talking about? Brilliant!

  9. honeypants says:

    This is completely insane?! Your pussy is my soul mate??? I bet her friends and relatives dread the holidays. “It’s lovely Olek dear!” [Oh no! Not another bathtub cover!]

  10. Ann says:

    While in NYC last weekend, I passed a crocheted VW Beetle. I fell in LOVE. I took many pictures of it, and a few feet away was a crocheted bicycle chained to a street sign. Even the bike chain was crocheted! Super cool!

  11. Tricia says:

    If you’re ever in Washington, DC, you have to go see this: http://americanart.si.edu/collections/search/artwork/?id=9897
    A lot of the shiny gold paper was from discarded cigarette packets. And then drive to the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, it’s a joy.

  12. Cricket9 says:

    Nice does of craziness and colour! A group of artists in Toronto crocheted “doilies” for trees.

  13. patni says:

    Visionary Art museum in Baltimore is my favorite museum. It is a brilliant showcase of the obsessive, and the person with a new world stuck in their head. Sadly, they are probably going to close down soon due to lack of funding. Visit while you can.

  14. Lorena says:

    Incredible! I love obsessive artists too. I kind of envy their NEED to create, with all of my favorite artists you can feel the chaotic energy in their work and that is exactly what I love about this! Normally when I think of crochet I imagine pretty, dainty things and this is nothing like that, it’s awesome. The neon colors and pixelated look kind of remind me of 90’s graphics. If she made clothes I would want to wear them.

  15. liz says:

    this is beautiful! I especially love the crocheted messages “Wake up and play with me!”

  16. Tricia says:

    Patni, that’s terrible news. We haven’t been back to Baltimore since we moved to NYC, but we’ll have to try and drop by now. It was the first place I ever saw an art car.

  17. Perucha says:

    Love this post. Never saw something like this.
    Love you Sister.

  18. Cricket9 says:

    I’m definitely getting dyslexic. I meant “dose”. Patni, thanks for the warning (that’s sad news indeed), will try to make a trip to Baltimore.

  19. Ann says:

    I was so with you…until I saw the bathroom.

  20. Hortense says:

    This book ‘Monomania: the flight from everyday life in literature and art,’ by Marina Van Zuylen (French lit, less caps) while perhaps not the pinnacle of fine academia, had me so obsessed that I read it all in one sitting. It’s impossible to get, but the google reader version has lots of mania-inducing clips that put the issue in perspective. It even had me impressed with Mondrian.

    I’ve been obsessed with writing the perfect undone sonnet, with learning Russian, and with many crushes. They all turned out okay. Right now I’m unleashing my bipolar mania on learning painting. Good times.

  21. Hammie says:

    I heart crochet xx

  22. kellie says:

    that is super fun!!!
    everything is soft!!!

  23. Joy D. says:

    Thanks for sharing as I am not very knowledgeable of most artists whose work is interesting. The other photos are kick ass.

  24. Nadia says:

    So glad you posted this! So inspiring! Love all of it, and desperately want a crochet gimp suit haha!

  25. death_sexxx says:

    my god this is awesome

  26. Emily Bleak says:

    I was reminded of this post this past weekend – I was visiting some friends-of-friends in their rental condo in Salem MA (tres historic) and was knocked dead by the very obsessively-detailed, exposed brick and antiqued brass and witchy candle clusters look of the place. I asked the woman who lived there if she did interiors or what, because it was just beautiful – her answer was “I have OCD and like to drink.”

    No wonder it was so perfect.

    (BTW, thank you Sister for inspiring me to bite the bullet and ask someone at the MAC counter to hook me up with a good red lip that won’t look like a big orangey slash on my face. Looks like Dare You is my red.)

  27. Poppy Blake says:

    Does any body know of any other artists that use OCD as the focus of their work??

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