It’s been called ‘artistic vandalism’ and a waste of good fiber, but controversial or not, the covering of trees, statues and other public artifacts with crocheted or knit yarn, known as Yarnbombing, is continuing to intrigue both artists and amateurs around the world.
Thought to have originated with Texas-based fiber artist Magda Seyeg, street name KnittaPlease, yarnbombing has become a fuzzy phenomenon on a global scale. Though Knitta has gone commercial, (dressing a Prius in a sweater), yarnbombing has found its ideal niche in the drab industrial landscapes of cities like Detroit, Glasgow and Liverpool.
Philosophical objections have been raised that yarnbombing is a waste of material that will knowingly be transformed into something damp, moldy and stretched out. Should yarn that could make warm clothing be used to create amateurish street art? Those who don’t appreciate traditional graffiti would say its use of spray paint is wasteful too, whereas those who consider it an art form say the spray materials are artists’ tools. And should a painter’s oils be diverted to paint Habitat houses instead?
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