Thursday, 7 April 2011

do not knit and drive

Knitta Please's Smart, Rome 2010 unmentioned photographer(s)
Today I'm in the right mood for a humorous, eased post
about knitted (or crocheted) cars: I bet you've had the
chance to meet some of these wacky vehicles while
googling for images or simply surfing the net 
looking for bizarre pics.

Knitta Please's bus, Mexico City, 2008 photos by Cesar Ortega
From minicars to buses, knitting is able to make
outstandingly funny motor vehicles as well
a profusion of items for exhibition artworks
or 'guerrilla knitting' happenings.
Also known as yarn bombing, guerrilla knitting
is a recognized form of temporary public art
usually used to draw attention or to improve
a public area by placing colorful 
woven artifacts within it.

Olek's crocheted car covers, photos by Pat Arnow
The first one is the well known Smart city car skillfully
realized by Texan globetrotter artist Magda Sayeg
for “Il Lusso Essenziale” or “the necessary luxury”
exhibition during last year's Roman Arts Festival
celebrating “the rediscovery of the extraordinary
nature of everyday life”.
Magda is the founder of “Knitta Please”, probably
the most famous group of yarn bombing street
artists she assembled back in 2005 who simply began
by taking her knits to the streets of Austin responding
to the dehumanizing standards of urban environments.
Magda's works have been recognized for their great
influence in street art as well as the craft of knitting.

Jitka Havlíčkova's “Viktor”, 2001, photos by Petr Jedinák
Olek” was born Agata Oleksiak in Poland before
moving to New York where she suddenly rediscovered
her ability in crocheting and since then making her
own art which has been showed in galleries around
the world. She made her name thanks to her crocheted
pink bikes and car coverings and lately came to
present a living environment annoyingly called
“Knitting is for pussies” at Cristopher Henry Gallery
in NoLita (North of Little Italy) district.

Jitka Havlíčkova working on “Viktor”, 2001, photos by Petr Jedinák
Jitka Havlíčkova is a draughtwoman, glassmaker
and sculptor from Prague, the extremely 
impressive Czech Republic's capital city who 
can boast about her many degrees.
She graduated from the High School of Applied 
Arts for Glassmaking in Železný Brod, the 
Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and from the 
School of Conceptual Tendencies as well.
She focuses on the merging of drawing and
artifact with long-run projects based on her
own stories. Her ten-year-old “Viktor” stiffened
crochet car attracted wide audiences through
several exhibitions in contemporary art museums
and on the streets as the biggest 3-D doily ever!

knitted Ferrari by Lauren Porter via the artist's website
A bright red Ferrari is always recognizable at
breakneck speed and so unexpected to be
fully knitted: bringing binary opposites together
was the starting point of British artist Lauren Porter.
 Her Ferrari, made with 12 miles of Alverthorpe's
 notable Sirdar brand yarns, has been showed in
 several locations appealing to all kind of audiences.
 “I want as many people as possible to see and
enjoy my work including those who wouldn't
ordinarily go to an art gallery...” she wrote 
in her website's artist statement.

Zempel's “HSB”, 2008 photo by Sandy Coutts Sutherland
Adirondack artist Jerilea Zempel wanted
“to turn an oversized, macho, gas-guzzling
vehicle into a technological ghost by
shrouding it in a white, fuzzy cover,
reminiscent of women's handwork from

 another time, another place” when she
planned to realize what she will later
call her “Homeland security blanket”
installation. Zempel's works are far from
conventional art products working with
unusual materials such as chain saws,
horse manure, yarns, guns or tree branches.

Cynthia Ruse's “This year's model”, 2008 via the artist's website
Artist Cynthia Ruse explores the boundaries
between real and unreal showing her own
personal imagery and iconography.
“I am drawn to the exploration of a shadow
side, the search for a truth that was left behind.
The narrative thread is ongoing. Ideally, the
work becomes indistinguishable from where
it leads and the story it presents along the way.”

VW cozy beetles from Huston Art Car Parade 2010
After all popular events involving cars and unwitting
knitting-crocheting-quilting artists are uncountable
in US, among them the celebrated Huston
Art Car Parade (next scheduled edition on May) 
and the Lake and Mountain Quilt Show,
which takes place yearly in September in
Seneca city in the golden corner 
of northwestern South Carolina.
Plenty of funny, amazing car-inspired
artistic works!

PT cruiser car quilt from Seneca Quilt Show 2010
Karen Tesky is not a so-called artist, instead a
professional props designer making different
things every single day for theatres, museums,
theme parks and shopping malls in snowy
Calgary city, Canada who made a knitted toque
for her car inspired by the guerrilla knitting
happening she stumbled across at C-Train
station by putting together crocheted blankets
collected in thrift shops.
Such a nice artwork anyway.

Mrs. Tesky with her car, photo by
Hope you enjoy this long post as much 
as I did working on it. 
Have fun and... drive safely!


  1. Dearest Elisabetta,

    Wow, this is incredible. Some people you would want to hug for their ingenuity! Their contribution to society at least is something that brings laughter and admiration. That cannot be said from everybody...

    Lots of love and thanks for taking the effort to show this from A to Z!