Born Agata Oleksiak in 1978 in Poland, street artist Olek has her solo exhibition, "Santa Ágatha, la torera (St. Agatha, the bullfighter)," showing at the Delimbo Gallery in Sevilla, Spain throughout the 1st of February, 2014.
Olek exhibition, photo: press release
You may have heard of Olek because of her “resurrected” version of the famous El Cid statue located between the Plaza of Spain and the tobacco factory in Sevilla, Spain. The original El Cid statue is now wearing Olek’s colorful crochet.
Regarding history’s role in her own life and works, Olek remarks on her blog for The Huffington Post: “I remember as a 17-year-old girl I shaved my head and crocheted hats to keep warm. I hitchhiked by myself to many cities in Europe. Amsterdam, not to visit coffee shops, but to experience Van Gogh's genius in person. These personal experiences and encounters taught me history, art, culture and languages and remain the core of my evolving work.”
Born Agata Oleksiak in 1978 in Poland, Olek received a BA(2000) in Cultural Studies from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań and relocated to New York City, where she currently lives and works. Olek uses crochet as an alternative to other mediums; her woven fabrics provide a metaphor for the interconnectedness of humanity through new layers of history and culture. Olek’s website opens with a brief note on key points to her work: “My work changes from place to place. I studied the science of culture.”
In 2012, Olek was part of the 40 Under 40: Craft Futures exhibition at the Smithsonian, for which Knitting is for Pussies (2005-2011) – her entire corcheted studio apartment – was exhibited. Olek is the recipient of the Ruth Mellon Award for sculpture in 2004, In Situ Artaq award (France) in 2011, and a grant in 2011 from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) for performance in public space.In 2008, Olek was the winner of the Apex Art competition, which aired on PBS. In 2010, the artist was commissioned by the Brooklyn Museum of Art for a one-day interactive performance installation.
Interacting with Olek’s “Santa Ágatha, la torera” at the Delimbo Gallery, visitors are welcome to “cover” and re-cover new layers of shared human history and culture, from Poland to the U.S., from Spain to elsewhere.
Edited by Elcin Marasli, 20/11/2013