Wrapped art artists | From Christo and Jeanne-Claude to Olek

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puplished on
Oct 4, 2021
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paris by night, arc de triumph, christo and jeanne claude, artist couple, on view
Christo and Jeanne-Claude | L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021 | Photo: Benjamin Loyseau ©2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

When I think of wrapped art, I immediately think of the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The breathtaking wrapped Arc de Triomphe, we have all seen it, images in the media, on TV, or maybe even lucky enough to stand before this magnificent manifest designed by the artist couple.

men at work, paris, arc de triomphe, france, in the making, climbing, wrapping
Ropes are being installed to secure and contour the fabric on the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, September 13, 2021 | Photo: Lubri ©2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

The excitement of something wrapped deeply entwined with our feelings of expectation, the mystery, the question, finding in the hidden form clues to what may lie inside. 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude | L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, Paris, 1961-2021 | Photo: Wolfgang Volz 2021 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

Just watching the glee in the eyes of someone unwrapping a gift, feeling this emotion together on different levels - it’s a wonderful thing.

It’s mesmerizing, incredibly unreal this version of the arc, so familiar and yet so different packed away under this silvery blueish glowing fabric. 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude | Wrapped Reichstag, Berlin, 1971-95 | Photo: Wolfgang Volz 1995 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

I went online and rediscovered previous works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, recalling the magic of these unbelievable achievements, all breathtaking.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude | Wrapped Trees, Fondation Beyeler and Berower Park, Riehen, Switzerland, 1997-98 | Photo: Wolfgang Volz 1998 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Foundation

Then I moved on to my favorite platform Instagram, using the # wrapped, and was instantly submerged once again into a sea of Christo and Jeanne-Claudes works. 

As I probed on, I discovered some pretty impressive contemporary artists using wrapping techniques in their work.

crochet bomb, ole, yarn boming, new york, polish artist
Olek and her assistants | Yarn bombing | Olek crochets an entire four car train in Lodz, Poland | 2013 | Photo: Slawek Fijalkowski

My ultimate discovery is the incredibly talented Agata Oleksiak or better known as Olek

Olek acclaimed fame for her yarn bombing interventions in public spaces. 

intense art agata oleksiak, prolific, yarn bombing, smithsonian, museum,
Olek dresses the Jan Karski Bench | Outside the Consulate general of Poland | New York | 2015

A self-taught artist, Olek crochets moments so that they last forever, crochet a means to illustrates her thoughts to the public.

"I was sometimes called crochet Christo!" -Olek
alfred einstein pink house, crochet, craft, american art museum, wall street bull, brooklyn bridge
Olek | Wrapping in process | Foto: Mikael Bakaldin
„The Banana sculpture concluded the period of the ready-mades. The Wrapped L’arc The Triumph in its own spectacular way finalized the long run of interacting with public monuments. Art’s consciousnesses elevated itself to a new dimension. Are you awake to join us there? „ - Olek
astor place cube, sculptures, sculptor, installations, performance
Olek | An entire 100 year old 2 story-house | Yarn bombed | Kerava, Finland | 2016 | Courtesy Olek

Right away, I was entranced and intrigued when I explored her Instagram page.

I truly enjoyed her video in which she talks about herself and her work called "I Have Nothing To Declare Except My Genius". 

womens rights, sexual equality, message, artist, feminist
Olek | Artistic intervention underwater | 2014 | Diver | Photo courtesy: Olek

When you listen closely and take time to tune in to her, what she has to say is brilliant, and I find her most stimulating, wise, and captivating.

southwark crown court, wrapped art, public space, intervention, contemporary art
Olek | Obelisk | Santiago, Chile | Highlighting in color equality | Image courtesy by Olek | 2015
„Sculpture has no limitation, its about stretching the canvas to feed the vision“ - Olek
international female artist, womens rights, interventions, olek, famous wrapping art
Olek | New York stock exchange bull | Christmas gift to New York | 2011 | Photo: Olek

I also want to mention the artist Donald Edwards, whom I also discovered on Instagram. His work does not take place in public spaces, yet the material he uses does. 

Spending time in Provincetown and Baltimore, Donald Edwards has combed the streets and beaches for materials to create his artworks. 

junk warrior, hoarder, wrapping artist, small objects, sea, baltimore, american
Donald Edwards | Junk Warrior
"I have been making pieces that involve wrapping for a while now. I have experimented with more dense wrapping, as well as just trying to wrap enough, to hold the things together that I want attached. They are both useful techniques. There is a meditative, relaxing feeling I get when I make work that is wrapped a lot." - Donald Edwards
junk art, recycled material, sculptures, sculptor, dumpsters, saving, resources,
Smurf | Donald Edwards

Instead of adding to the waste stream Donald Edwards intends to make things out of old and discarded items, keeping them from being added to landfills and dumps.

This body of work is about reuse and working with the materials you can find for free. 

wrapping,  junk culture, consumer culture, adverse environmental impact,
Hello Kitty | Donald Edwards
"Using things that would have been trash if I did not give them another life" - Donald Edwards
raw materials, , junk balls, vinyl toys, beach, frank kozik, old, outsider art, recycled, wrapped art
Donald Edwards | Wrapped found objects

A big thank you to the Press department from the Christo and Jeanne-Claude foundation. A very big thank you to the Queen of crochet Olek and also to the wonderful Donald Edwards for sharing with us!