In October 2015, Hi-Fructose Vol. 29 featured artist Olek visited the Virginia MOCA for a special workshop with community members and to plan a large-scale public artwork on site that will raise awareness about the waters near Virginia Beach. Over the weekend, the New York-based artist’s project was unveiled at the opening of Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose – a larger than life future New York Times article covering the facade of the museum entrance. Olek’s mural, crocheted in a photo-realistic style, imagines our Earth Day headline news in 2020.
Not a traditional street artist by any means, Olek has swathed bicycles, vehicles, people, historical monuments, and even entire buildings, seeking to transform the world using a medium that has often been dismissed as “craft” by the art establishment. Anything that enters Olek’s consciousness, whether a private experience or a social observation, can be expected to turn up in her colorful crochet work. “I’ve covered buildings before, but never anything like this,” Olek shared with Hi-Fructose at the unveiling on Saturday.
“When I came to the site of Virginia MOCA it was probably two and a half years ago. I travel between different places and I was trying to figure out what can I do here, what kind of public project can I do. The first idea was to create a large sculpture in a public space and then I actually came up with the idea of the mural. But we wanted to find a connection between all of these pieces that I am creating here,” Olek explained.
“The mural is a newspaper that is dating April 22, 2020. So it’s a fictional newspaper, but I hope that in 2020 we will look at it as real news. In a way, I feel so tired of reading always really bad news in the papers and listening on the radio and the tv, and I’m thinking, ‘What if we created this one day that we’re going to read all the good news?’ So maybe the good news will create a good outcome.”
Olek’s work will remain on view throughout the Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose exhibition until December 2016. For more information, visit the Virginia MOCA online.