Monday, May 10, 2010

Knitta, please cover those ugly blue signs on Lamar underpass

I'd written before about the group Knitta Please! and the challenge that knitted graffiti poses to distinctions between graffiti and art, craft, etc.. So I was pleased to drive down Lamar last week and see knitted coverings of a bunch of odd, supposedly artistic blue metal signs with no messaging that line an underpass around 5th Street. Here's a photo from the Austin Eavesdropper:


And here's an East Austin lamppost covered in argyle:


In this case the knitting was legal, commissioned art. Says the Eavesdropper, "Magda Sayeg, who created the knit sleeves above, is one of Art City Austin's commissioned artists." Sayeg is affiliated with Knitta Please! But this is an example of illegal art achieving mainstream acceptance, akin philosophically to hiring graffiti artists to paint murals and signage. I find the whole phenomenon fascinating. See also:

8 comments:

Dave said...

Not that I was expecting a Van Gogh or Rembrandt but, just when you thought spray paint graffiti was visually offensive...

Robert Langham said...

Texas spends a zillion bucks a year on lame social engineering billboards all over the state. I hope public money isn't being wasted on this as well.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Hey, what's with the knitta hatas? Let's see Dave or Robert do better! And if that doesn't impress you, how about this? In other places they've sought permission to knit public buses, which they'd (amazingly, to me) previously done as spontaneous acts of "yarnbombing."

FWIW, I'd prefer the government spend money subsidizing art in public places than on "lame social engineering billboards" seven days a week and twice on Sunday.

And Dave, you must not live in Austin. Believe me, compared to what passed for art underneath the knit covers, this is much better. Do a Google Map search for 355 North Lamar and go to the street-level view to see how they looked before. Driving by it looked pretty cool and was IMO a great improvement.

Dave said...

No offense meant Grits, just having a bad case of the "Monday's."

Agreed on what it looks like compared to the alternative. I visit family near Lamar regularly.

Aaron said...

I LOVE it. I think it is much more fun and makes me smile every time I drive by. Thanks knittas!

Hunter Biederman said...

Take a look at the artist Christo. This reminds me of him. He ran around for a while "covering" buildings and signs and islands. I never really saw the art in it. . .

Anonymous said...

Can folks who aren't knittas call a knitta a knitta or is it a prohibited word? If someone yells "knitta!" at me on the street, I'm going to assume it's an insult!

Anonymous said...

Just because it's art doesn't make it pretty...