Olek, ‘Crocheted Object - Bicycle’, 2010, Robert Fontaine Gallery

Olek was born Agata Oleksiak in Ruda Śląska, Poland in 1978. She graduated with a degree in Cultural Studies from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań from 1997 to 2000. She is the 2004 recipient of the Ruth Mellon Memorial Award for Sculpture from the National Club (New York) and has been an artist-in-residence at Sculpture Space (Utica, New York), Sacatar.org (Brazil) and the Artists Alliance (New York). Olek's work has been featured at exhibitions at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., the Museu do Traje e do Têxtil in Salvador, Brazil, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Olek has worked in textile and costume design with the Merce Cunningham Studio and the Carrie Ahern Dance Company in New York. She has been featured in publications including the Village Voice, Paper Magazine, Details Magazine, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Olek lives and works in New York.

Signature: Unique

About Olek

Olek, born Agata Oleksiak, is an artist who bases her practice on covering people and objects in snug crocheted cozies; as the artist puts it, “my madness becomes crochet.” She has used her craft to re-create popular imagery and well-known art in the form of installations and performances, including works by Banksy and Annie Leibovitz’s 1986 portrait of Keith Haring. She often includes text in her works, like medical reports, text messages, and famously provocative quotes by Marilyn Monroe and Madonna. Olek’s work is commonly spotted around New York, where she has covered cars, chained bicycles, Bernard Rosenthal’s Astor Place Cube, and Wall Street’s charging bull statue. While her characteristic crochet motif is a camouflage pattern in fluorescent colors, recently her works have tended towards grayscale. Olek also wears her own crocheted creations.

Polish, b. 1978, Poland, based in New York, New York