Eyecatchers: HOTTEA & Yarn Bombing

Earlier this month, I posted a Tweet of the Day installment that included a photo of some trees in Seattle that had been decorated rather colorfully. (the first photo included here)

I failed to notice then that the Tweeter referred to this as yarn bombing.

Fast Forward some weeks, and my 14-year old son tells me he wants to learn how to crochet and asks me if I know what yarn bombing is.

Well, all you have to do is type “yarn bombing” at Google Images and you can see that this craze, this meme of sorts, has gone global.

Fast Forward to yesterday, when, via Colossal, I came across a VERY cool new installation at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) by Eric Rieger, aka HOTTEA.

HOTTEA’s story, partly told here, started out like any other street artist. And yet risk-taking and run-ins with the law got old and some new ideas were born, starting with street works and leading to the MIA installation, which uses 84 miles of yarn.

Street artists making the move from graffiti to gallery has been a divisive trend for years now. The 2010 film Exit Through The Gift Shop, by street art legend Banksy, seems clearly critical, and yet it doesn’t outright condemn, for Banksy himself has made a lot of money from selling his work through the traditional gallery and auction channels.

In my opinion, artists have to make a living like everyone else, and the more street art sensibilities infiltrate the mainstream art world the better. Art carrying messages about social ills predates the street art movement, but street artists can help keep the tradition alive.

Back to HOTTEA, the MIA piece reminds me ever-so-slightly of the piece by Do Ho Suh that I blogged about a few weeks back, but I love it on its own merits, LOVE the intentional round patch of faux grass for viewing the installation as one would enjoy sunshine in a park, and the time-lapse video below of its assembly is a lot of fun.

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