Thursday, May 6, 2010

knit graffiti.

so, i'm driving into downtown austin for a client coffee, and i see this series of vibrantly patterned knitted covers over a set of usually plain blue rectangular panels [an art piece erected seven years along south lamar boulevard].

and i think, wow, what are those? they're AWESOME.

once i'm home, i go to to see whether i can uncover what these colorful covers are all about.

voila et merci, austin american-statesman. an article all about austin's "yarn bomber," magda sayeg.

magda sayeg is 36, a wife, mother of three [ages 7-15], and a cafe and bookstore co-owner.

sayeg is also a self-confessed "knit graffiti artist."

she creates colorful knitted pieces to cover everyday public objects, like street lights, signs or poles.

sayeg began knitting in 2005 out of boredom.
her first knitted piece was a cover for the doorknob of her former houston women's store, raye.

today, sayeg spends up to 12 hours a day knitting, as much by hand as possible, but occasionally using a loom for quicker production. she also repurposes old blankets and crocheted pieces for her art.

the coverings i saw were part of a commissioned project sayeg did for art week austin.

[the original blue panels, by the way, are known as moments, an art installation created by architect carl trominski. honestly, they don't move me on their own. sayeg apparently got trominski's ok before beginning her project, and has even called it a collaboration between she and trominski. nice girl.]

this month, sayeg will show over 100 original pieces in rome, including knitted long pink tubes to cover florescent lights so they evoke a lightsaber-ish glow. she also plans to cover a smart car [much like this mexico city bus she covered in 2008].
"i'm questioning the assumptions of knitting," sayeg says. "and i question the assumptions of graffiti."

for a craft typically intended to keep folks warm, knitting as done by magda sayeg is unquestionably coooool.

see sayeg and associates installing the panel coverings:

image source: austin american-statesman

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