Olek (artist)


May 28, 2022

Agata Oleksiak (Olek or Crocheted Olek, born April 5, 1978 in Ruda Śląska) - an artist of Polish origin, creating fabrics by crocheting and decorating elements of public space with them. She was born in Ruda Śląska, she attended the 3rd Secondary School of General Education named after Adam Mickiewicz in Katowice. In the years 1997–2000 she studied cultural studies at the University of Adam Mickiewicz in Poznań. Under the direction of Małgorzata Hendrykowska, she wrote the work Symbolist of Costume in Peter Greenway's films. After receiving her bachelor's degree, she moved to New York, where she continued her education at LaGuardia Community College. She learned how to crochet in childhood, and when applying for a student visa, she decided to prepare a work based on the crocheting technique. She creates fabrics by crocheting, her works are exhibited in museums, galleries and public spaces, often without permission. In 2010, she dressed the New York sculpture Charging Bull in fabric (set by its creator Arturo Di Modica, also without permission). Another New York sculpture decorated by Olek was the Jan Karski's Bench, covered with golden yarn on the fifteenth anniversary of Karski's death. In Poland, Olek, among others she decorated a locomotive in front of Manufaktura in Łódź as part of the Tuwim station project, as well as excavators placed in front of the Spodek Arena as part of the Katowice Street Art Festival. In 2011 in Poznań, as part of the No Women No Art festival, she covered the statue of Stary Marych with a yarn fabric, the decoration was burned after four days of exposure. Olek's works are often classified as yarnbombing, but the artist distances herself from this classification.

Selected individual exhibitions

2014 Reality, what a concept! Soho Grand Hotel, New York 2014 Let’s Not Get Caught, Let’s Keep Going, Stolen Space Gallery, London 2014 I haven’t a single explorer on my planet, White Walls Gallery, San Francisco 2013 Santa Ágatha, la torera, Delimbo Gallery, Sevilla 2013 The End Is Far, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York 2012 I do not expect to be a mother but I do expect to die alone, Tony's Gallery, London 2011 The Bad Artists Imitate, The Great Artists Steal, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York 2010 Knitting is For Pus ****. Christopher Henry Gallery, New York 2010 Kiss Me, I Crochet, LIU Gallery, Brooklyn 2010 99 Cents, G-Train, Brooklyn 2009 Just Bring Your Clothes, Chashama, New York 2009 We Mock What We Don't Understand, Marmara Gallery, New York 2009 10% What Happens to You, 90% How You React to It, The Project Space, Brooklyn 2008 Text Machine, 45 Bleeker Street Theater, New York 2008 Plum Blossom is Beautiful. Blossom is Temporary, BBBP, Bronx