Olek is a NYC-based crochet artist, known for covering everything from the Wall Street bull to bikes, cars, and vans with her signature shades of fluorescent yarn. She began creating art in crochet somewhat accidentally, after wrapping a stepladder in yarn at a friend's home. At a show of her work, someone noticed the stepladder stored in a utility closet and asked why it wasn't included in the show. Once placed in the gallery, received rave reviews. When asked about her work, Olek told us "there is no line between my life, my art or my hobbies and interests. Everything is interconnected and I am driven by a passion. Everything is possible. You just have to believe in it."
What would the title of your autobiography be? “Kiss Me, I Crochet”
What’s your favorite travel destination? I travel all the time, and recently came to a realization that NYC became my favorite travel destination, not just home. I always miss NYC. I hope it is a never-ending love affair.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon in NYC? Being with an imaginary lover and opening the curtains to beautiful sunlight streaming in on a king-size bed in a nice hotel while eating strawberries and chocolate and drinking champagne in absolute silence. But I usually just stay in and crochet.
If you could choose one person to show you “their New York City,” who would it be? Last week, I had drinks with my friend at Forgetmenot in Chinatown, and saw a woman pushing a cart collecting cans and bottles. I would love to see it from a perspective of this hard-working woman.
What are your favorite NYC restaurants? I’ve been to many places, but since I am a vegetarian, I like to go to Caravan of Dreams in the East Village – I love every single dish they make. I also really enjoy the leek risotto at Tribeca Grand.
What’s your go-to spot in NYC for drinks? Wherever my date takes me to. Always a new place… or where cute bartenders work (#selrrose). My all-time favorite place is Lucy’s in the East Village. It is my tradition to say hello to her after each trip. She pours super strong drinks, and is a powerful sweetheart.
Where do you get your art fix in NYC? The best art fix is a conversation with Mr. Jeffrey Deitch. Sometimes it’s a dinner, gallery visit or email exchange, but it’s always a powerful learning experience. He is a walking encyclopedia and his knowledge has no limits.
What are some of your under the radar must-do recommendations for NYC visitors? If they are under the radar, let’s leave them that way.
What are some of your favorite NYC stores? I don’t really shop as I make a lot of my own clothes, but I always have the one and only Garo Sparo make me a corset for an event. He is an incredibly talented human being.
What music are you listening to these days? The Top 25 most played songs on my devices are Chopin. After all, I am an old fashioned lady who crochets for a living.
What song would you consider your personal soundtrack to NYC? I must say Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” This tune never gets old to me.