Monday, 27 May 2013

Knitting With Paint

You probably think that the image above is a photo of a detail from a knitted item, but it's not. It's an oil painting. Yes, seriously. Brazilian artist Rogerio Degaki, whose pop art often references formative stages in life, created a series of these paintings, born from childhood memories of being made to wear handmade sweaters that he didn't like lest he hurt the feelings of his mother and aunts who had knitted the sweaters for him. He decided he'd create some knitted patterns he would have liked to wear as a child, and then, because he's not a knitter, render them in paint. And how on earth does he do that? "The surface is divided into rows and columns, in which I distribute the 'knitting stitches,' according to the image I want to paint," Degaki says. "From there, I overlap up to six color layers to compose the background, the stitches and the brightness of wool. It's a bit mathematical and repetitive, but definitely worth it."

You can read more about Degaki's work on My Modern Met and see the rest of this series, as well as his other work, on his web site.

Much as I admire Degaki's paintings, the back story left me wincing. I can only hope the many children upon whom I have foisted knitted items don't feel the same way about the things I have made for them. I don't exactly want to walk into an art gallery someday and see some knitted-related childhood traumas that I induced writ large.

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