Olek’s Crocheted Balloon Funhouse at the Krause Gallery
To be honest we did a quick pat-down to make sure all sharp objects were quarantined before entry. The last thing we wanted was to become the party popper by deflating the entire exhibit. Indeed, this ain’t no normal circus-style balloon sculpting.
With Olek currently on bail from London, she and artist David Peterson teamed up for some extraordinary funhouse action inside the Krause Gallery on Orchard Street. Last night was the opening party for “Synthetic Nature,” an event that both challenged the claustrophobic and literally tickled the senses – colorful balloons, the pungent scent of latex, and the sounds of golden oldies (good times, great oldies).
Ever determined to crochet the entire world in her own image, the world-renowned street artist instead decided to ditch the spool in favor of semi-inflated rubber. The most obvious component of the exhibit was the balloon-crocheted hut in the center of the gallery space, which purportedly took twenty hours to assemble. Wide-grinned patrons gathered inside the cramped quarters, shooting pictures and posing with the performers in token Olek get-ups. And there were plenty of them pacing the premises – all frozen in strange positions.
David Peterson’s fingerprints were outside the hut, where his collection of “machines” provided the illusion of inflation; that these creations kept the entire rubber room afloat. The walls of the gallery itself, meanwhile, boasted one-of-a-kind photography housed in frames comprised entirely of crocheted balloons.
“Synthetic Nature” runs through April 15 at the Krause Gallery, 149 Orchard Street.