Olek was born Agata Oleksiak in Silesia, Poland. After graduating from university, she moved to New York where she discovered her ability to crochet and began her artistic journey. For Olek, life, crochet, and art are inseparable.
Olek’s passion and motivation are themselves a statement of her artistic beliefs. Her invested energy creates an emotional field that exists beyond the five senses – it communicates directly with the viewer and inspires them to pause, to be in the moment. Olek’s powerful work makes New York’s crowds stop walking, stop staring at the ground. She believes in the beauty of an art form that is always changing, being destroyed, and reformed as a new work. Though New York City’s various neighborhoods are the inspiration for many of Olek’s sculptures and installations, her work has also been exhibited in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Berlin (Germany), Utica, Salvador de Bahia (Brazil), and Istanbul (Turkey). Olek has also participated in residencies at Sculpture Space and Artists Alliance Lower East Side-Rotating Studio Program in New York, and the Instituto Sacatar in Brazil. She has had commissioned work for the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and will be creating a sculptural environment for the Smithsonian Museum in 2012.
Image credit: Olek, Knitting Is For Pus****, 2010–2011