Graffiti … Like Your Grandma
NPR reports: Some of the world’s biggest street artists gathered in Los Angeles in April for the opening of the Art In The Streets show at the Museum of Contemporary Arts. Mingling in the crowd might have been street art legends.
But not “Captain Hook.” She’s part of an international movement of so-called yarn bombers taking an old-school approach to street art. Unlike most street artists who travel with spray paint or markers, Captain Hook — as she asked NPR to call her — works with a crochet hook and yarn. More after the flip….
Her “walls” are public fixtures, like the bronze bear statue in L.A.’s Griffith Park that stands zombie-like with its paws out. “This is crochet on a statue,” she says, sitting in her Los Angeles apartment, a pile of granny squares in her lap. “This could be happening in 1725.”
In mid-March, Hook was feverishly working on the bear’s 10th outfit — its St. Patrick’s Day attire — a body glove in four shades of green. “I can’t make the same thing over and over, so I made a vest, then some shorts, then some lederhosen,” she says. “And now … I think I’m going for the full body.”
It’s an ambitious project, but Hook has confidence. Raised on a commune in the 1970s, Hook was part of an all-girl needlepoint workforce. “You always had to be making something,” she says. “So in the houses I grew up in there were blankets, embroidered dresses and pillows … covered in needlepoint. I mean, we rocked it. We were good.”
Hook, also a writer and actress, estimated it would take 20 hours to finish the outfit and anticipated having plenty of time waiting around on movie sets. But on the afternoon of the “installation,” she finds herself frantically crocheting.
“I’ve been hysterical basically,” she says. “I’ve been up since 6 a.m.” Without any time to spare, the project changes scope — Hook alters her original crocheted body glove pattern into a more manageable bear-sized hoodie.
“Now, it’s a shrug with a hood,” she says. “It’s sleeves, a back and a hood.”